2.Bundesliga matchday 4 preview

Two weeks ahead of the Bundesliga, the second tier has already reached matchday 4 with Hamburg siting top alongside Magdeburg and newcomers Wiesbaden, while Hertha Berlin are languishing at the bottom as the only side yet to gain a single point thus far. Here’s what the weekend has in store in the best second-best league in Europe.

Schalke v Holstein Kiel

File:FC Schalke 04 Logo.png - Wikipedia  File:Holstein Kiel Logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

The Königsblauen looked to have responded well to their opening night loss at Hamburg with consecutive wins over Kaiserslautern and Braunschweig (Pokal), but then they slumped to a second league defeat in three games when they returned to Braunschweig last weekend and lost 1-0.

Kiel lost their 100% start to the season last weekend when losing at home to Magdeburg and Macel Rapp will be keen on returning to winning points at the Veltins Arena. There has only ever been one league meeting between the two sides in Gelsenkirchen with the Storks achieving a 1-1 draw back in 2022. The corresponding fixture in Kiel saw the visitors win 3-0.

Paderborn v Kaiserslautern

File:SC Paderborn 07 Logo new.svg - Wikimedia Commons File:Logo 1 FC Kaiserslautern.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Paderborn gained their first win of the season away at Fortuna Düsseldorf and now need to start getting their home form to follow suit. Lukas Kwasniok’s side were one of the leading lights last season before falling away and they had been expected to mount a similar title challenge this season.

The Red Devils began with two defeats, but after their big Pokal win over Rot-Weiß Koblenz, they gained a comeback win against SV Elversberg to take their first three points in the league last weekend.

Hertha Berlin v Greuther Fürth

Hertha BSC - Wikipedia  SpVgg Greuther Fürth - Wikipedia

They are saying that it’s too early too panic, but the bare facts are that Hertha have made an awful start to the season following relegation. The opening day loss to Fortuna was not ideal, but then the home defeat to newcomers Wiesbaden was unacceptable. Last weekend’s defeat to Hamburg showed just the gulf in quality and another defeat this weekend could spell the start of panic.

The Kleeblätter haven’t really built upon their big opening day win over Paderborn with a defeat to Kiel and point against St. Pauli. It remains to be seen if this is a good time to play Hertha- either they will be an injured team ripe for another beating, or an angry and inspired team ready to finally make their mark in the 2.Bundesliga.

Hansa Rostock v VfL Osnabrück

File:FC Hansa Logo seit 2009.png - Wikimedia Commons   File:VfL Osnabrueck Logo 2021–.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Hansa’s 100% start to the campaign came to end last weekend with 2-1 home loss at the hands of Hannover, but they get the chance to make amends with another home game at the Ostseestadion this weekend when Osnabrück make the relatively short trip up to the North coast this weekend.

The newly promoted side have only taken a solitary point from their three matches this season and were dumped from the DFB Pokal by Bundesliga side Köln. Many observers predicted a tough season and that already seems to be panning out for Tobias Schweinsteiger’s side. Now they are getting used to the step up in quality, they need to start getting more points on the board to avoid a season-long slog against the drop.

Elversberg v Fortuna Düsseldorf

File:SV Elversberg Logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons Fortuna Düsseldorf - Wikipedia

After taking a good point from Hannover on the opening weekend, Elversberg have lost three on the trot (including the Pokal exit) and are waking up to the reality of how tough the 2.Bundesliga really is. The good news is that they’ve scored in each of their three league matches, they just need to tighten things up at the back.

Fortuna have a win, loss and a draw to their name so far this season so will be looking to tip the balance to the positive side on Saturday when they travel to the compact Ursapharm Arena and der Kaiserlinde to face Elversberg. Daniel Thioune’s side were lurking just outside the promotion places last season and will be looking to take the next step this season. Winning away at a place like Elversberg (no offence) should be seen as a must.

Hannover v Hamburg

Hannover 96 - Wikipedia File:Hamburger SV logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Starting seasons well has not been an issue for HSV- it’s finishing in the top two that has proved so difficult and this season has seen another good start. Four goals already apiece for both Laszlo Benes and Robert Glatzel has helped them to top spot with two wins and a draw. They make the short trip down the A7 autobahn for the late game on Saturday looking for another three points.

Hannover have been very Hannover at the start of the season. Two successive draws and win last time out over Rostock has been solid, if unspectacular. Getting a positive result against the Rothosen this weekend would go a long way to boosting their self-confidence.

St. Pauli v Magdeburg

FC St. Pauli - Wikipedia File:1. FC Magdeburg.svg - Wikimedia Commons

The Kiezkicker have made an unbeaten start to the season, but will be disappointed to only have one win under their belts thus far. A second win will be the target when they host Magdeburg on Sunday even the side from the Elbe sit above them in the current table.

Christian Titz has overseen two wins and draw so far (matching Hamburg) and will not want to drop points on the trip across to the Millerntor. The identical fixture occurred last season on matchday four with the Hamburg side winning 3-0.

Karlsruhe v Eintracht Braunschweig

File:Karlsruher SC Logo 2.svg - Wikimedia Commons  Eintracht Braunschweig - Wikipedia

KSC have been the one side to hold HSV to a point this season, but then they went and lost last week away at Wiesbaden. Creating some kind of consistency is the target for Christian Eichner’s side and three points at home to Braunschweig would be a good start this Sunday.

Eintracht were a struggler last season and after two successive losses and Pokal exit to Schalke, the omens were not looking good. They did however manage to gain revenge on the Königsblauen last week with a 1-0 win and need to build upon that to move up the table.

Nürnberg v Wehen Wiesbaden

File:FC Nürnberg.svg - Wikimedia Commons SV Wehen Wiesbaden - Wikipedia

Wiesbaden can be more than satisfied with their start to the season with seven points from three games and will be keen to build upon it this weekend. A good footing at the start of a season after promotion is always welcome and that is just what  Markus Kauczinski has achieved so far.

Der Club have also seen promising signs with the goalscoring form of teenager Can Uzun the stand-out so far this season. The 17-year-old already has three league goals to go with the hat trick he bagged in the Pokal. This weekend will see the youngster looking to further bolster his growing reputation.

About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball