Ahead of the first international break of the season we get to enjoy matchday 5 of the new 2.Bundesliga campaign. Three teams from the North currently lead the way with Hamburg, Kiel and Rostock setting the pace. Hertha Berlin and Schalke on the other hand are mixing it at the bottom end. What does the weekend action have in store?
Fortuna Düsseldorf v Karlsruher SC
The weekend action gets underway at the Esprit Arena on Friday as Düsseldorf host Karlsruhe. Both sides have an identical record of two wins, a draw and a defeat and will be looking to build upon the victories they both achieved last week.
Fortuna enjoyed a 5-0 away win at struggling Elversberg, while KSC beat Braunschweig 2-0 at the BBBank Wildpark. Last year’s fixture saw a dramatic finish as Jordy de Wijs’s 93rd minute header sealed a 3-2 comeback win for the hosts.
Eintracht Braunschweig v St. Pauli
The second match on Friday sees St. Pauli travelling to Braunschweig looking to end a run of three consecutive goalless stalemates. The Kiezkicker’s season has failed to ignite with draws against Magdeburg, Greuther Fürth and Fortuna.
Having bagged their first win over Schalke on matchday 3, it was back to losing street for Eintracht last weekend as they went down at Karlsruhe. A season of struggle was predicted for Jens Härtel’s side and the early season signs are that that could well be the case. What are the odds on a 0-0?
Holstein Kiel v Paderborn
The Stork’s fine start to the season continued last week with a deserved win away at Schalke. Their only blip this season came against Magdeburg and so far Marcel Rapp’s side have been highly impressive in taking nine points from their opening four matches.
These two sides met on matchday five last season, but at the Home Deluxe Arena in Paderborn and the hosts ran riot ending up winning 7-2 to move to the top of the table. Having achieved just one win so far this season, Paderborn would take a win by a much lower scoreline on Saturday when they travel up to the northern coast.
Magdeburg v Hertha Berlin
Hertha Berlin finally ended their dreadful start to life in the 2.Bundesliga with a big win last weekend at home to Fürth and Pal Dardai’s side will need to build on that this weekend as they make the trip west along the A2 to face Magdeburg.
It won’t however be an easy task at the MDCC Arena with Cristian Titz’s side unbeaten so far this season. They held St. Pauli to a goalless draw last time out at the Millerntor, but will be confident of a fourth win this season back on home territory.
Wehen Wiesbaden v Schalke
Like Hertha, the Königsblauen are finding life difficult in the second tier following their relegation and have suffered three defeats already this season. Thomas Reis will have to get his side adapted pretty quickly if they are not to see an early gap open up between themselves and the leading pack. Their last relegation saw them return instantly, but they have seen how hard HSV have found it to get back to the top division.
Wiesbaden for their part have made a solid enough start with seven points taken from their first four games. They have already beaten Hertha this season and will be looking to take another big scalp this weekend.
Kaiserslautern v Nürnberg
Two of the real ‘Traditionsvereine’ go head-to-head at the Fritz Walter Stadion in the late match on Saturday. A packed stadium under the floodlights is sure to provide an excellent atmosphere as the Red Devils host the Bavarians.
Both teams enjoyed wins last weekend with a Ragnar Ache inspired FCK beating Paderborn away from home, while der Club beat Wiesbaden in a testy match that saw three red cards.
Hamburg v Hansa Rostock
There is a North Battle of the Hanseaten on Sunday as HSV welcome Rostock to the Volksparkstadion looking to cement their position at the top of the nascent table.
The Rothosen were made to work last weekend for their 1-0 win at Hannover, but the victory thanks to Bakery Jatta’s strike saw them maintain leadership of the table and their only dropped points thus far came away at Karlsruhe. Hansa though are only a point behind Hamburg having notched up three wins of their own and the prospect of leapfrogging their more illustrious Northern rivals into top spot is the big motivation this weekend.
Greuther Fürth v Hannover
The Kleeblätter started the season with a 5-0 win over Paderborn, but were themselves on the end of the same scoreline at the Olympiastadion last week as Hertha Berlin finally broke the shackles of their abysmal start. The opening day win has been the only three points so far and Alexander Zorniger’s side will be expected to show a reaction.
Hannover are being typically Hannover-like so far with two draws, one win and a narrow defeat last time out to Hamburg. The Cup exit at the hands of Sandhausen upped the pressure on coach Stefan Leitl, but it will only be wins that ease that pressure.
VfL Osnabrück v Elversberg
The final match to cover this weekend sees newcomers Osnabrück hosting fellow newcomers Elversberg at the Bremer Brücke. The two clubs currently occupy the bottom two spaces in the 2.Bundesliga table having picked up just one point from their first four games in the second tier following promotion.
They knew it was going to be difficult, but this weekend gives both sides a great chance to bag their first win at the expense of their fellow strugglers. The corresponding fixture last season in the 3.Liga saw the home side snatch a vital 1-0 win on matchday 32 in their (ultimately successful) quest for promotion.
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