The 2.Bundesliga returns after the first round of the DFB Pokal took over on the weekend. The second tier sides represented the league well, despite a few scares most sides managed to get through to the second round. Out of the eighteen sides in the league twelve went through, while six exited the competition. This weekend the attention once again returns to 2.Bundesliga.
Friday: St. Pauli vs Sandhausen.
The hosts St. Pauli have had a mix start of the season, they started the season with draw at home to Ingolstadt before travelling to Aalen where they suffered a 2-0 loss, the Hamburg club picked up their first win of the season in the DFB Pokal. St. Pauli will be hoping their 3-1 victory against Oberliga side Optik Rathenow will kick start their season. St. Pauli will be missing Robin Himmelmann and Marcel Halstenberg for this game.
The visitors for Friday’s game is Sandhausen, they’ve struggled in the first few games of the season and they’ll also be needing a positive result to kick start their season. Sandhausen were beaten 1-0 in their first game against new boy’s Darmstadt, they then managed a hard fought 1-1 draw at home to Kaiserslautern. On Sunday Sandhausen were well beaten by 3.Liga side Arminia Bielefeld in the cup, the 4-1 loss win would’ve hurt Sandhausen and they’ll need to move on quickly. Sandhausen are without Nicky Adler, Simon Tüting, Kevin Kratz and Ranisav Jovanovic.
St. Pauli have had more success in this fixture, in the four meetings between the two sides they’ve won twice, Sandhausen have won once and there’s been one draw. The biggest win in this meeting was in the 2012/13 season when Sandahusen grabbed an impressive 4-1 victory, the last meeting was a thrilling 3-2 victory for St. Pauli. Let’s hope this game is just as thrilling.
Heidenheim vs 1860 Munich.
Heidenheim started the season with a home win against FSV Frankfurt, who many believe will also be down the bottom fighting against relegation. The 3.Liga champions then faced a much tougher task in their second game as they travelled to Braunschweig to face the former Bundesliga side, Heidenheim were beaten comfortably as Braunschweig put three goals past Jan Zimmermann. On Monday Heidenheim were able to bounce back from the Braunschweig defeat to knock Union Berlin out of the cup, goals from Marc Schnatterer and Adriano Grimaldi gave earned their side a 2-1 victory. Heidenheim go into the game against 1860 Munich with only two injures to the squad, Alper Bagceci and Timo Beermann will miss the game.
1860 Munich haven’t enjoyed a happy start to the campaign, the first game of the season saw 1860 race into a first half 2-0 lead against Kaiserslautern, only for them to collapse in the second half and suffer defeat thanks to a brilliant Kaiserslautern comeback. RB Leipzig continued to add to that disappointment as they breezed past 1860 to win 3-0. In the cup 1860 were able to pick up their first win of the season, a Rubin Okotie brace saw them comeback from a goal down to beat 3.Liga side Holstein Kiel. 1860 will be missing Grzegorz Wojtkowiak, Stephan Hain, Guillermo Vallori and Korbinian Burger for the game against Heidenheim.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides in the 2.Bundesliga, they both met in last season’s cup. 1860 took the lead through Moritz Stoppelkamp before Tim Göhlert levelled things in the 91st minute to send the game into extra time. The game went into penalties and 1860 went through after winning the shoot out 4-3. This will be a tight match up once again, Heidenheim will certainly provide a test for 1860’s defence which has conceded seven goals in three games.
RB Leipzig vs Erzgebirge Aue.
Newly promoted RB Leipzig have made a decent start to the season and they’ll be hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season. The first game of the season saw them being held to a goalless draw by Aalen, who managed to withstand the pressure from RB Leipzig. RB Leipzig improved on their draw by impressively beating 1860 Munich 3-0 and on Sunday they managed to knock out Bundesliga new boy’s Paderborn, after the game finished 1-1 extra time was needed and Clemens Fandrich scored the important winner in the 109th minute. There’s no new injuries for RB Leipzig, they’ll still be without Terrence Boyd, Fabio Coltorti, Fabian Franke and Henrik Ernst.
After the first two games of the season Erzgebirge Aue find themselves at the bottom of the table after two defeats. They were beaten 1-0 by Nürnberg thanks to a goal from former player Jakub Sylvestr, they then suffered a thumping from Bochum, after conceding very early in the game Solomon Okoronkwo scored the club’s first goal oif the season, but that’s when it all went wrong, Bochum went on to score four more goals and leaving Aue with a 5-1 victory. Aue managed to get their first win on the weekend as another Okoronkwo goal was enough to see off Regionalliga side Carl Zeiss Jena. Aue have almost a fully fit squad, the only absent player is Patrick Schönfeld.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides and based on the early season form RB Leipzig will be the favourites for this one. The win on Sunday will give Aue some confidence for the game, however RB Leipzig’s strength may be too much for them.
Saturday: Nürnberg vs FSV Frankfurt.
Nürnberg have found their return to the 2.Bundesliga tougher than they would’ve thought, after an opening day win against Erzgebirge Aue they travelled to their rivals Greuther Fürth. Many expected the match to be a tightly fought battle, however that wasn’t the case as Nürnberg were torn apart by Fürth, who made the most of a poor defensively display. After the 5-1 thrashing Nürnberg travelled to 3.Liga side MSV Duisburg, thanks to a eleventh minute penalty from Zlatko Janjić Nürnberg were knocked out of the cup. Nürnberg are without Jan Polak who’ll return in September and they have two long term injuries in Even Hovland and Danny Blum.
FSV Frankfurt have had a similar start to the season as their opponents, their campaign started with a 2-1 defeat to Heidenheim, Patrick Mayer’s goal six minutes from time completed Heidenheim’s comeback after Björn Schlicke’s early first half goal. In week two FSV Frankfurt played there part in one of the games of the season so far, in an outstanding first half against Karlsruher there were five goals. Edmond Kapllani scored a brace for FSV Frankfurt, however unfortunately for the home side a Iliyan Mitsanski hat-trick gave Karlsruher all three points. FSV Frankfurt were able to pick up their first win of the season on Saturday, they were pushed all the way to penalties by Sportfreunde Siegen, after a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra time Tom Beugelsdijk scored the winning penalty as FSV Frankfurt won 5-4 in the shoot out. FSV Frankfurt are still without Joan Oumari and Chhunly Pagenburg.
Nürnberg will be favourites for this one, however if history plays any part in this it will be a close game. These two sides have met twelve times which has resulted in three wins each and six draws. The last meeting was back in 2009, this saw FSV Frankfurt win 2-1.
Fortuna Düsseldorf vs Karlsruher SC.
Fortuna Düsseldorf have had a tough start to the season and they’ve done well to earn two points in their opening two games. First up they faced Eintracht Braunschweig for the first game of the season and after a fantastic strike from Michael Liendl opened the scoring, they quickly regained the lead through Charlison Benschop after conceding an equaliser. Düsseldorf had all three points snatched away when Håvard Nielsen scored six minutes from time. Düsseldorf followed this up with a draw away to Union Berlin, Liendl once again with the goal. The club were on the wrong end of a shock result on Sunday as they were knocked out by Regionalliga side Würzburger Kickers. Düsseldorf took the lead just before the break with a Heinrich Schmidtgal goal, the Regionalliga side then took the lead after a quick brace by Christopher Bieber, Sergio Pinto levelled things on the hour mark and then in extra time Steven Lewerenz scored the all important winner to knock out Düsseldorf. Fortuna go into the game without Axel Bellinghausen, Oliver Fink and Ihlas Bebou.
Karlsruher have had a better time of it than their opponents, in the first game they were held to a goalless draw by Union Berlin. In the second game of the season Karslruher managed to defeat FSV Frankfurt 3-2 in what was a very entertaining game of football, Iliyan Mitsanski secured all three points with his impressive hat-trick, the first in the 2.Bundesliga for four years. Karlsruher comfortably saw off Oberliga side Neubrandenburg 04 on Sunday, they secured a second round spot thanks to goals from Gaëtan Krebs, Jan Mauersberger and Iliyan Mitsanski. There are no injuries or bans that Karlsruher have to worry about for this game.
Düsseldorf edge it on previous meeting’s four wins over Karslruher in ten meetings, Karsruher have won three times and this fixture has seen three draws. This will be another close fixture for this weekend, Karlsruher will win this if Düsseldorf continue to struggle in the second half.
Sunday: Kaiserslautern vs Eintracht Braunschweig.
One of the games of the weekend sees Kaiserslautern at home against Eintracht Braunschweig. Kaiserslautern started with a 3-2 victory over 1860 Munich, Srđan Lakić scored a brace and ten minutes from time Philipp Hofmann scored the winner. In their next game Kaiserslautern were denied a victory by Alexander Bieler’s goal a minute from time, this cancelled out Alexander Ring’s 77th minute goal. Saturday saw Kaiserslautern pushed all the way to penalties as they were held to a goalless draw by 3.Liga side Wehen Wiesbaden. Kaiserslautern went through, winning the shoot out 5-3. Steven Zellner is still out with an injury and Tobias Sippel returns to league action after serving his suspension.
Eintracht Braunschweig have started the season well and they’ve adjust well to life back into the 2.Bundesliga. Håvard Nielsen’s late equaliser against Düsseldorf kicked off their season with a draw, they then went on to defeat Heidenheim 3-0 in their first home game, Håvard Nielsen scored before the break and in the second half a Ken Reichel brace secured the win. On Saturday Nielsen was once again on the score sheet as his 46th minute goal was enough to knock out Oberliga side Bremer SV. Braunschweig will be missing four players against Kaiserslautern, Jan Hochscheidt, Torsten Oehrl, Saulo Decarli and Jan Washausen are all out injured.
Despite making the better start to the season Braunschweig could struggle, looking into their past meeting’s Braunschweig haven’t won against Kaiserslautern in their four games. This will be an entertaining game, however it we may be looking at a draw, three of these tow sides meetings have ended in a draw.
Ingolstadt vs Greuther Fürth.
Ingolstadt managed a mid-table finish last season and they’ll be hoping to achieve a similar result this season, their start as seen them earn two draws. The draw against St. Pauli saw Sören Gonther cancel out Alfredo Morales first half goal for Ingolstadt. In week two Ingolstadt snatched three points away from the hands of Darmstadt, Romain Brégerie put Darmstadt into the lead, Stefan Lex pulled Ingolstadt level before Dominik Stroh-Engel scored what many thought wound be the winner sixteen minutes from time, Ingolstadt’s Karl-Heinz Lappe was the hero after scoring in the 93rd minute. Unfortunatley for Ingolstadt they go into this game after exiting the DFB Pokal, after ninety minutes and extra time finished 0-0, Regionalliga side Kickers Offenbach won 4-2 on penalties. There are no new injuries for Ingolstadt, however they’ll be without Marvin Matip, Ralph Gunesch, Almog Cohen, Christian Eigler and Tamás Hajnal, they were all injured before the new season.
Greuther Fürth will be very happy with their start to the season, they sit top of the table along with Bochum. The two sides shared the points on the opening day of the season, Kacper Przybyłko cancelled out Simon Terodde’s 15th minute goal to earn a 1-1 draw. Fürth’s first game at the Trolli Arena saw them welcome their rivals Nürnberg. Fürth swept their rivals off their feet and easily ran out 5-1 winners, in his last game for the club Abdul Baba scored a brace in an impressive performance and Goran Šukalo, Tom Weilandt and Robert Zulj also got themselves on the score sheet. Fürth also comfortably secured a second round place in the DFB Pokal, they defeated Waldkirch 3-0, goals from Stephan Schröck, Ognjen Mudrinski and Benedikt Röcker. Fürth will have to play without Ilir Azemi who is still recovery after his car accident, Johannes Wurtz, Florian Mohr and Mark Flekken are also out injured.
Ingolsatdt are in for a tough game and it’s hard to look any further than a Fürth win, in the sixteen meetings between the two sides Fürth have won eleven times, while Ingolstadt have only managed to beat Fürth twice.
Darmstadt vs Aalen.
Darmstadt can be proud of their early season performances, they managed to defeat Sandhausen thanks to a Dominik Stroh-Engel penalty. Darmstadt then draw 2-2 with Ingolstadt before a heavily anticipated tie against Wolfsburg. Darmstadt were able to hold out Wolfsburg for 120 minutes and the tie had to be settled by penalties, the Bundesliga side came out on top as they won the shoot out 5-4. The only player that isn’t available for Darmstadt is Aytac Sulu.
After holding RB Leipzig to a 0-0 draw Aalen managed to put in a very impressive performance against St. Pauli, goals from Nejmeddin Daghfous and Manuel Junglas secured a much deserved victory. In Aalen’s cup tie they were forced into extra time by Regionalliga side Schwarz-Weiß Rehden, after Daghfous’ own goal Michael Klauß scored the equaliser in the 57th minute, Aalen won 4-3 on penalties. Aalen will be without Robert Lechleiter and Sebastian Neumann.
This is the first time these two sides have met in the 2.Bundesliga, there last meeting was in the 3.Liga back in 2011, that game saw Aalen come away with a 2-1 victroy.
Monday: Bochum vs Union Berlin.
Bochum have started the season in fantastic fashion, they find themselves joint top after a draw and a win. The first game of the season saw them draw to Fürth and they improved on that result by defeating Erzgebirge Aue 5-1. Stanislav Šesták started the scoring with his brace, Yusuke Tasaka then made the score 3-0 before Simon Terodde finished of the scoring with a brace of his own. On Saturday Terodde once again scored a brace this time it was to knock out Bundesliga side Stuttgart. Bochum face Union Berlin with a fully fit squad.
Union Berlin have drawn both their opening games of the season, they managed to hold Karlsruher to a goalless draw and Damir Kreilach scored an equaliser to cancel out Michael Liendl’s first half goal for Düsseldorf. Despite their late efforts against Heidenheim in the cup Union Berlin weren’t able to stop their exit. Marc Schnatterer gave Heidenheim the lead through a penalty, Adriano Grimaldi doubled the lead with twenty minutes to go and Union Berlin could only get a consolation goal through Fabian Schönheim. The only player missing for Union is Oliver Oschkenat.
In the ten meetings between these two their hasn’t been a single draw, will Monday be the first? Bochum head into the game on form and with a firing Terodde, this will be enough for a Bochum victory.
Article for VAVEL.