After taking a break for the first round of the DFB Pokal , the 2.Bundesliga returns for matchday 3 with nine fixtures to whet your whistle. Hansa Rostock and Kiel are the only team with a 100% record so far, while Hertha Berlin have had a rude awakening with two successive losses. Here’s what the third matchday has in store……
Kaiserslautern v SV Elversberg
It’s fair to say that Kaiserslautern haven’t had the easiest of starts to the new season with losses to promotion contenders St. Pauli and Schalke, but they did at least get something to smile about with their 5-0 win over Rot-Weiß Koblenz in the Pokal. Their second home game is against promoted Elversberg and they will be itching to get their first three points of the season to get their campaign going.
The 3.Liga champions had a good draw against Hannover on the opening day before being defeated by a stunning late comeback last time out at the hands of Hansa Rostock with goals in the 100th and 113th minutes of stoppage time. They will need their wits about them as they travel too the Fritz Walter Stadion to face the Red Devils on Friday night.
Wehen Wiesbaden v Karlsruhe
Wiesbaden and KSC have both made unbeaten starts to the new season with a win and draw apiece, so will be looking to inflict a first defeat on their opponents in the second Friday offering. Wiesbaden snatched a late victory over Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion on matchday 2 to go with their draw against Magdeburg. Using their home advantage will be crucial this season and three points versus Karlsruhe would equate to an excellent start to the season.
The visitors left it late to snatch a point at home to HSV on matchday 2 after getting the better of VfL Osnabrück in their first game (also courtesy of a late goal). Veteran Daniel Brosinski signed a new contract this week, but their Pokal exit in the first round to 3.Liga Saarbrücken wasn’t the ideal preparation for their trip to Wiesbaden.
Fortuna Düsseldorf v Paderborn
Fortuna have made a good start to the season with a win against Hertha and a point against St. Pauli in an entertaining match, so a home win against Paderborn would see them up amongst the early leaders. Daniel Thioune’s side had a straightforward win in the Pokal and the visitors this weekend are not exactly firing on all cylinders.
Being thumped by Fürth on the opening weekend was the worst possible start and they were held 1-1 by promoted Osnabrück last time round. A 7-0 Pokal win at the weekend was however just the tonic for Lukas Kwasniok’s side and he’ll hope that a corner has been turned.
Greuther Fürth v St. Pauli
The Kleeblätter started the season with a bang, but then slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Kiel with two goals conceded in three second half minutes. Their win over Hallescher FC was overshadowed by the racist abuse suffered by Julian Green, but back at home they will be looking to repeat the big win from matchday 1.
St. Pauli have made a solid start and look like they could once more be a promotion contender with four points from their first two matches. A 5-0 win over Atlas Delmenhorst in the Cup has set them up nicely for their trip south to the Sportpark Ronhof I Thomas Sommer.
Hansa Rostock v Hannover
Rostock rather surprisingly sit top of the nascent table after two games (can we end the season now?). A 2-0 win against Nürnberg opened their campaign and a 2-1 victory away at Elversberg followed thanks to the late, late heroics of VfB Stuttgart loanee Juan Jose Perea. They needed penalties to overcome FSV Frankfurt in the Pokal, but a win is a win and they will be looking to make it four from four this weekend and defend their place at the league’s summit.
Hannover on the other hand were dumped out of the Pokal by Sandhausen on penalties following successive draws in the league. The pressure is already mounting on coach Stefan Leitl and more dropped points this weekend will only add to that.
Hamburg v Hertha Berlin
Two of the ‘Dinos’ of German football go head-to-head this weekend in a fixture more often seen in the Bundesliga than the second tier. Hamburg have proved that it is not always a foregone conclusion that the relegated side will instantly return to the top flight and Hertha are already finding life a little tricky.
The Rothosen dropped two points against Karlsruhe on matchday 2 after a stoppage time equaliser, which came after their 5-3 thriller with Schalke on matchday 1. Hertha for their part have started with two defeats (Fortuna and Wiesbaden) so a third loss would ramp up the pressure on the Alte Dame.
Holstein Kiel v Magdeburg
Kiel are the second side with two wins from two so far this season and a home game against Magdeburg will give them the opportunity to extend their perfect start. Fürth and Braunschweig have both been brushed aside and a third win was achieved in the Pokal against Gütersloh.
The visitors also had a cup win (vs Jahn Regensburg), and are also unbeaten in the league thus far after a win over Braunschweig and point on the opening day against Wiesbaden.
Eintracht Braunschweig v Schalke
Braunschweig struggled last season and results this season indicate that another tough season could be in store. Two losses in the league (Kiel and Magdeburg) leaves them pointless and they were eliminated from the Pokal at the weekend by……this weekend’s opponents Schalke!
The Königsblauen will be more than happy with a repeat performance of their 3-1 win from Friday’s visit to the Eintracht Stadion. Their loss to HSV on the opening night was redeemed by a 3-0 home win over Kaiserslautern although they were helped by two red cards for their opponents,
VfL Osnabrück v Nürnberg
Nürnberg were the top scorers from the weekend’s Pokal matches after hitting nine past FC Oberneuland. After taking just a point from their opening two league matches, der Klub will want to carry their cup form into this week’s clash with Osnabrück, who were themselves knocked out of the Pokal on Monday at the hands of Bundesliga side Köln, although they did take them to extra-time.