Bundesliga News

The VERY big 2. Bundesliga team preview (part 1)

By Jesvin Nellissery,Matias Bengolo

Welcome to the big one... the full in-depth preview of the 2. Bundesliga for the 2021/22 season. Within this article you will find out the key information about each club, their pre-season preparations, the key summer signings and departures, their first six matches a key player from each team and finally a small paragraph as the writer gives their opinion on the team.

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Before we start, here is the full matchday one for the 2. Bundesliga!


Friday 23rd July
Schalke 04 vs Hamburger SV - kick-off 20:30 (all local times)

Saturday 24th July - all kick-off at 13:30 unless indicated
Darmstadt 98 vs SSV Jahn Regensburg
1. FC Heidenheim vs SC Paderborn 07
Dynamo Dresden vs 1. FC Ingolstadt
Hansa Rostock vs Karlsruher SC
SV Werder Bremen vs Hannover 96 - kick-off: 20:30

Sunday 25th July - all kick-off at 13:30 unless indicated
FC St. Pauli vs Holstein Kiel
1. FC Nürnberg vs Erzgebirge Aue
SV Sandhausen vs Fortuna Düsseldorf

Let's get it going!

SV Werder Bremen


Key information


Manager: Markus Anfang
Stadium: Weser-Stadion
Founded: 4 February 1899
Nicknames: Die Werderaner (The River Islanders); Die Grün-Weißen (The Green-Whites)


Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 19th
Training camp: July 1st to 8th in Zell am Ziller, Austria
Friendlies: June 27: Blau-Weiß Lohne 7:0, June 30: VfB Oldenburg 4:0 , July 4: ZSKA Sofia 1:0, July 7: Zenit St. Petersburg 2:2, July 13: FC Oberneuland 12-0, July 17th: Feyenoord Rotterdam

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Lars Lukas Mai (FC Bayern Munich, loan), Nicolai Rapp (1. FC Union Berlin), Anthony Jung (Bröndby IF), Kyu-hyun Park (was previously loaned), Kebba Badjie (own U23), Johannes Eggestein (LASK, loan ends), Stefanos Kapino (SV Sandhausen, loan ends), Niklas Schmidt (VfL Osnabrück, loan ends), Thore Jacobsen (1. FC Magdeburg, loan ends),

Departures: Benjamin Goller (SV Darmstadt 98, loan) Yannik Engelhardt (SC Freiburg II, loan), Ole Käuper (SV Meppen), Milot Rashica (Norwich City), Luc Ihorst (Eintracht Braunschweig, loan), Davie Selke (Hertha BSC, Loan ends), Niklas Moisander (Malmö FF), Theodor Gebre Selassie (Slovan Liberec)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs Hannover 96 (H), Saturday 24th July, 20:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs Fortuna Düsseldorf (A), Saturday 31st July, 20:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs SC Paderborn (H), Sunday 15th August, 12:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs Karlsruhe (A), Saturday 21st August, 12:30 local
Matchay 5 - vs Hansa Rostock (H), Sunday 29th August, 12:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs Ingolstadt 04 (A), Saturday 11th September, 12:30 local

Key player


There are a couple of arguments for a few Werder players. I've gone for Jiri Pavlenka. There are talks within Kicker that Bremen will extend the contract of the 29-year-old and the keeper is clearly better than 2. Bundesliga level. He is the best goalkeeper in the 2. Bundesliga on paper, I think better than Ralf Fährmann who has been shaky and has never been trusted as the real number 1 in Gelsenkirchen until now. The fact Bremen have had to bolster significantly in the defensive positions also highlights their clear fragility at the back. All in all, Jiri Pavlenka will need to be the best goalkeeper in the 2. Bundesliga this season to keep Bremen defensively strong and he will be the most important cog in Bremen's machine.

The writer's opinion


Werder Bremen are going to have high expectations. Not just from the fans or the Werder bosses, but also from the league. They have been given the Saturday 'Topspiel' spot for the first two matchday's and will continue to be. They are in the 2. Bundesliga to entertain, be on free TV more than many other second division clubs. Markus Anfang has a tough job on his hands, no doubt about it. I think what edges Bremen over some other clubs is their coach, he has done it before in an almost identical situation with 1. FC Köln, and knows how to win. Bremen will score for fun, be entertaining and win a lot of football matches in the 2. Bundesliga, whether that's enough to go straight back up to where they belong, I don't know. But I think they will.
Writer's prediction: 1st

Schalke 04


Key information


Manager: Dimitrios Grammozis
Stadium: VELTINS Arena
Founded: 4 May 1904
Nicknames: Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues) Die Knappen (The Miners)

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 17th
Training camp: June 29th to July 10th in Mittersill, Austria
Friendlies: June 23: PSV Wesel-Lackhausen 8:0 , June 27: SF Hamborn 07 14:0, July 3: Zenit St. Petersburg 0:0, July 9: Shakhtar Donetsk 0:0, July 16: Vitesse Arnhem 2:1

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Dries Wouters (KRC Genk), Yaroslav Mikhailov (Zenit St. Petersburg, loan), Marius Bülter (1. FC Union Berlin), Marvin Pieringer (Sport-Club Freiburg, loan), Reinhold Ranftl (ASK Linz), Thomas Ouwejan (AZ Alkmaar), Marcin Kaminski (VfB Stuttgart), Victor Palsson (SV Darmstadt 98), Simon Terodde (Hamburger SV), Danny Latza (1. FSV Mainz 05), Sebastian Rudy (TSG Hoffenheim, loan ends), Jonas Carls (Vitoria Guimaraes, loan ends), Ozan Kabak (FC Liverpool, loan ends), Rabbi Matondo (Stoke City, loan ends), Florian Flick (own U23)

Departures: Benito Raman (RSC Anderlecht), Markus Schubert (Vitesse Arnheim), Ahmed Kutucu (Istanbul Basaksehir, was previously loaned to Heracles Almelo), Bernard Tekpetey (Ludogorets Razgrad), Sebastian Rudy (TSG Hoffenheim), Suat Serdar (Hertha BSC), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (unknown), Jonas Carls (SC Paderborn), Weston McKennie (Juventus Turin, signed on after loan), William (VfL Wolfsburg, loan ends), Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal FC, loan ends) , Nabil Bentaleb (contract end), Goncalo Paciencia (Eintracht Frankfurt, loan ends), Frederik Rönnow (Eintracht Frankfurt, loan ends), Kilian Ludewig (RB Salzburg, loan ends), Benjamin Stambouli (contract end), Bastian Oczipka (contract end), Alessandro Schöpf (end of contract), Shkodran Mustafi (end of contract)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs Hamburger SV (H), Friday 24th July, 20:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs Holstein Kiel (A), Sunday 1st August, 13:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs Erzgebirge Aue (H), Friday 13th August, 18:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs Jahn Regensburg (A), Saturday 21st August, 13:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs Fortuna Düsseldorf (H), Saturday 28th August, 20:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs SC Paderborn 07 (A), Sunday 12th September, 13:30 local

Key player


As I've already mentioned in the article above. Wherever Simon Terodde goes, the team usually does quite well (unless you're HSV.) He scores for fun, even at 33 years old and defenders are scared of him. If Schalke players get the ball to him in and around the box, he'll score more than he misses. A huge signing and will bag a lot of goals in Gelsenkirchen.

The writer's opinion


Schalke have been smart in the market this summer and still have a very good squad for the new campaign, even with the magnitude of some of the departures. They will be up there, winning more games than losing but I just don't know if they will be the real deal. In a highly competitive division with loads of very good and strong teams, only two can promote automatically and one have a chance in the playoffs. For that reason, I have to make a bold prediction somewhere, I can't just predict all the 'biggest' teams to go up because that just never happens. So, I think Schalke will miss out and finish outside the promotion places. Sorry, S04 fans.
Writer's prediction: 5th

Hamburger sv


Key information


Manager: Tim Walter
Stadium: Volksparkstadion
Founded: 29 September 1887; 133 years ago (as SC Germania), 2 June 1919; 102 years ago (as Hamburger SV)
Nicknames: Die Rothosen (The Red Shorts), Der Dino (The Dinosaur)

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 18th
Training camp: June 29th to July 7th in Grassau
Friendlies: June 30: Wacker Innsbruck 1-0 , July 7: FC Augsburg 2-2 , July 12: Silkeborg IF 1-0 , July 17: FC Basel 1-0

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Mikkel Kaufmann (loan, FC Copenhagen), Ludovit Reis (FC Barcelona), Robert Glatzel (Cardiff City), Miro Muheim (FC St. Gallen, loan), Jonas Meffert (Holstein Kiel), Sebastian Schonlau (SC Paderborn), Xavier Amaechi (Karlsruher SC, loan ends), David Bates (Cercle Brugge, loan ends), Aaron Opoku (SSV Jahn Regensburg, loan ends)

Departures: Khaled Narey (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Xavier Amaechi (Bolton Wanderers, loan), Rick van Drongelen (1. FC Union Berlin), Gideon Jung (contract termination), Sven Ulreich (FC Bayern Munich), Aaron Hunt (contract end), Simon Terodde (FC Schalke 04)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs Schalke 04 (H), Friday 24th July, 20:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs Dynamo Dresden (A), Sunday 1st August, 13:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs St. Pauli (H), Friday 13th August, 18:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs Darmstadt 98 (A), Sunday 22nd August, 13:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs Heidenheim (H), Saturday 28th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs SV Sandhausen (A), Saturday 11th September, 13:30 local

Key player


As I've already mentioned in the article above. Wherever Simon Terodde goes, the team usually does quite well (unless you're HSV.) He scores for fun, even at 33 years old and defenders are scared of him. If Schalke players get the ball to him in and around the box, he'll score more than he misses. A huge signing and will bag a lot of goals in Gelsenkirchen.

The writer's opinion


HSV will obviously be missing key-man Simon Terodde but they won't be having goal shortages with Walter as coach. They'll be entertaining, free-flowing and winning games. I do think they'll have enough but only for the play-off games.
Writer's prediction: 3rd

Hannover 96


Key information


Manager: Jan Zimmermann
Stadium: HDI-Arena
Founded: 12 April 1896; 125 years ago
Nickname(s): Die Roten (The Reds)

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 21st
Training camp: July 5th to 10th in Rotenburg
Friendlies: June 26: FC St. Pauli 0:2, June 30: Viktoria Berlin 1:0, July 3: SC Paderborn 1:1, July 10: DSC Arminia Bielefeld 0:1, July 14: Hertha BSC 4:4, July 17th: 1. FC Magdeburg 2:4

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Jannik Dehm (Holstein Kiel), Lawrence Ennali (own U19) , Sebastian Kerk (VfL Osnabrück), Sebastian Stolze (Jahn Regensburg), Sebastian Ernst (SpVgg Greuther Fürth), Ron-Robert Zieler (1. FC Köln, loan ends ), Leo Weinkauf (MSV Duisburg, loan ends), Tim Walbrecht (SV Wehen Wiesbaden, loan ends)

Departures: Timo Hübers (1. FC Cologne), Michael Esser (VfL Bochum), Genki Haraguchi (1. FC Union Berlin), Josip Elez (end of contract), Niklas Tarnat (end of contract), Marlon Sündermann (end of contract), Michael Ratajczak (end of career ), Kingsley Schindler (1. FC Köln, loan ends), Jaka Bijol (CSKA Moscow, loan ends)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs Werder Bremen (A), Saturday 25th July, 20:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs Hansa Rostock (H), Saturday 31st July, 13:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs Dynamo Dresden (A), Saturday 14th August, 20:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs Heidenheim (H), Friday 20th August, 18:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs SV Darmstadt 98 (A), Saturday 28th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs St. Pauli (H), Saturday 11th September, 13:30 local

Key player


The loss of Genki Haraguchi is massive and if he was still at Hannover he'd be the obvious choice. However, I think the key player for Hannover this season will be Marcel Franke. He's the new captain for H96 and will need to use his leadership. It's true that Hannover needs to improve, and this season they've brought in a lot of good individual players. Franke needs to build this team to be a team on the pitch and if that happens, Hannover could be up there.

The writer's opinion


Hannover 96 are a tough team to think about. They're difficult to gauge. On the one hand, they've pressed the reset button and brought in a new, innovative coach. On the other hand, they've lost their best player in Genki Haraguchi. They're in the same bracket as Karlsruhe and Fortuna Düsseldorf for me. They'll improve from last season, they can't be as bad as last season, surely. But they aren't good enough to properly challenge yet.
Writer's prediction: 8th

Holstein Kiel


Key information


Manager: Ole Werner
Stadium: Holstein-Stadion
Founded: 7 October 1900; 120 years ago
Nickname(s): Die Störche (The Storks)

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 23rd
Training camp: none
Friendlies: July 2: Randers FC 1:2, July 10: Brondby IF 1:1, July 14: VfL Wolfsburg 1:0, July 17: Hallescher FC 2:2

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Jann-Fiete Arp (FC Bayern Munich, loan), Holmbert Aron Fridjonsson (Brescia Calcio), Steven Skrzybski (FC Schalke 04 Patrick Erras (SV Werder Bremen), Hólmbert Aron Fridjónsson (Brescia Calcio), Marcel Benger (Borussia Mönchengladbach II), Lion Lauberbach (FC Hansa Rostock, loan ends), David Atanga (FC Admira Wacker Mödling, loan ends), Daniel Hanslik (1. FC Kaiserslautern, loan ends), Philipp Sander (SC Verl, loan ends), Timon Weiner (1.FC Magdeburg, loan ends), Julian Korb (without a club)

Departures: Jannik Dehm (Hannover 96), Makana Baku (Göztepe Izmir, was loaned to Warta Posen), Jae-sung Lee (1. FSV Mainz 05), Jonas Meffert (Hamburger SV) Janni Serra (Arminia Bielefeld), Dominik Reimann (1. FC Magdeburg)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs St. Pauli (A), Sunday 25th July, 13:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs Schalke 04 (H), Sunday 1st August, 13:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs Jahn Regensburg (H), Saturday 14th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs Fortuna Düsseldorf (A), Friday 20th August, 18:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs Erzgebirge Aue (H), Saturday 28th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs Kalrsruhe (A), Saturday 11th September, 13:30 local

Key player


Kiel have obviously lost some key men in Jae-sung Lee and Janni Serra, so I'm looking at Fabian Reese to step up. There's no guarantee that Jan-Fiete Arp will come out the blocks flying and Fin Bartels will contribute his best as usual, Kiel need that extra player and maybe it's Reese's season to really come into life.

The writer's opinion


I still have hope that Holstein Kiel can reestablish their promotion push from last season and have another crack at it, I think their success all depends on their big move for Jan-Fiete Arp because he can play, he's just shown none of his ability in Munich. It's a big step for his career and even though he's contracted with FC Bayern, there's absolutely no guarantees that he will find have his contract extended. He is actually one of my surprises of the season and I do think he will get 10+ goals, but I just don't think Kiel have enough. If they really went out in the market and strengthened dramatically then I might be writing something different. But I have them fourth.
Writer's prediction: 4th

Fortuna Düsseldorf


Key information


Manager: Christian Preußer
Stadium: MERKUR SPIEL-ARENA
Founded: 5 May 1895; 126 years ago
Nickname(s): Flingeraner (Tribute to their humble beginnings in the working-class district of Flingern), Fortunen (The men of Fortuna), Rheinländer (People from the Rhine)

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 23rd
Training camp: July 4th to July 17th in Mühlviertel, Austria
Friendlies: June 23: TSV Meerbuch 0:11 F95, June 26: SC 08 Schiefbahn 0:9 F95, July 4th: F95 1:2 Wüzburger Kickers, July 7th: F95 2:2 AEL Limassol, July 17: F95 3:0 Oud-Heverlee Leuven

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Felix Klaus (VfL Wolfsburg), Nicklas Shipnoski (Saarbrücken), Khaled Narey (Hamburger SV), Ao Tanaka (Kawasaki Frontale, loan), Dragos Nedelcu (FCSB, loan), Lex-Tyger Lobinger (promoted from F95 II)

Departures: Kenan Karaman (Besiktas), Anton Mitryushkin (Dynamo Dresden), Jean Zimmer (1.FC Kaiserslautern), Gökhan Gül (end of contract), Luka Krajnc (Frosinone, end of loan), Kevin Danso (Augsburg, end of loan), Brandon Borrello (SC Freiburg, end of loan)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs SV Sandhausen (A), Sunday 25th July, 13:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs SV Werder Bremen (H), Saturday 31st July, 20:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs 1.FC Nürnberg (A), Saturday 14th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs Holstein Kiel (H), Friday 20th August, 18:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs Schalke 04 (A), Saturday 28th August, 20:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs Erzgebirge Aue (A), Sunday 12th September, 13:30 local

Key player


Rouwen Hennings is a seasoned veteran in the 2. Bundesliga with over 240 appearances and scoring 71 goals. The 32-year old will also need to fill in the shoes of Kenan Karaman's goals as he departed the club to join Turkish side Besiktas JK.

The writer's opinion


A new manager for Fortuna this season, Christian Preußer will need to exert his plans perfectly if F95 are to go up to the Bundesliga, however, I don't see that happening. It will be a learning year for Preußer but keeping Felix Klaus on a permanent basis was a big coup for Fortuna. It will be an ok season for Fortuna, a slight drop in performance from last year but 7th with a new manager is still a good season.
Writer's prediction: 7th

FC St. Pauli


Key information


Manager: Timo Schulz
Stadium: Millerntor-Stadion
Founded: 15 May 1910; 111 years ago
Nickname(s): Kiezkicker (Neighborhood kickers), Freibeuter der Liga (The league privateers)

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 18th
Training camp: June 29th to July 6th in Herzlake, Lower Saxony
Friendlies: June 26: Hannover 96 0:2 FCSP, June 30: FCSP 4:0 BW Lohne, July 17: FCSP 2:2 Hertha BSC

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Eric Smith (KAA Gent), Jakov Medic (Wehen Wiesbaden), Etienne Amenyido (VfL Osnabrück), Lars Ritzka (SC Verl), Nikola Vasilj (Zorya Luhansk), Jackson Irvine (Hibernian FC), Franz Roggow (promoted from FSCP U19), Yi-young Park (Türkgücü München, end of loan), Jakub Bednarczyk (Zaglebie Lubin, end of loan)

Departures: Daniel Buballa (Viktoria Köln), Ersin Zehir (Antalyaspor, was loaned to VfB Lübeck), Ryo Miyaichi (Yokohama F. Marinos), Maximilian Franzke (1.FC Magdeburg), Svend Brodersen (Yokohama FC), Florian Carstens and Kevin Lankford (Wehen Wiesbaden, both were previously loaned to Wehen Wiesbaden), Tore Reginiussen (retired), Dejan Stovanovic (Middlesbrough, end of loan), Rodrigo Zalazar (Eintracht Frankfurt, end of loan), Omar Marmoush (VfL Wolfsburg, end of loan)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs Holstein Kiel (H), Sunday 25th July, 13:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs Erzgebirge Aue (A), Sunday 1st August, 13:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs Hamburger SV (H), Friday 13th August, 18:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs SC Paderborn 07 (A), Saturday 21st August, 13:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs SSV Jahn Regensburg (H), Sunday 29th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs Hannover 96 (A), Saturday 11th September, 13:30 local

Key player


4-3-1-2 has been the preferred formation under Timo Schulz and Guido Burgstaller up front with either former loanee Omar Marmoush or Simon Makienok. Daniel-Kofi Kyereh was the attacking midfielder that was playing behind the 2 strikers and I believe he will be the key for St. Pauli this season. 9 goals and 9 assists in last season's 2. Bundesliga and I see him prospering this season to provide St. Pauli 20 G/A.

The writer's opinion


St. Pauli have been in the 2nd tier for what will be their 10th consecutive season, but I think that this season will be THE season that St. Pauli will get the elusive promotion they have been craving. The goals from Burgstaller and the emergence of Kyereh will fire the skull and crossbones to 2nd in the table and promotion to the Bundesliga.
Writer's prediction: 2nd

1.FC Heidenheim


Key information


Manager: Frank Schmidt
Stadium: Voith-Arena
Founded: 14 August 1846, 174 years ago
Nickname(s): No nicknames

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 26th
Training camp: July 6th to July 17th
Friendlies: June 26: FCH 5-4 Austria Lustenau, June 30: FCH 2-0 SCR Altach, July 6: FCH 4-2 Ried, July 10: LASK 1-0 FCH, July 17: FCH 1-0 Hoffenheim

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Tim Kleindienst (KAA Gent), Tim Siersleben (VfL Wolfsburg, loan), Tim Seifert and Paul Tschernuth (promoted from FCH U19)

Departures: Maximilian Thiel (Wehen Wiesbaden), Oliver Steurer (MSV Duisburg), Marc Schnatterer (Waldhof Mannheim), Kevin Ibrahim (TSV Steinbach), Gökalp Kilic (FC Memmingen, previously loaned to SSV Ulm), Jonas Brändle (Sonnenhof-Großaspach), Diant Ramaj (Eintracht Frankfurt)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs SC Paderborn 07 (H), Saturday 24th July, 13:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs Ingolstadt 04 (A), Saturday 31st July, 13:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs Hansa Rostock (H), Sunday 15th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs Hannover 96 (A), Friday 20th August, 18:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs Hamburger SV (H), Sunday 28th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs Dynamo Dresden (A), Sunday 12th September, 13:30 local

Key player


This would've been an easy choice if you asked me last season because it would've been Marc Schnatterer, captain and talisman for Heidenheim. But he has departed for pastures new and I think after signing him for the 4th time, Tim Kleindienst has to be the key. There must be a good reason to re-sign the same player 4 times, and Tim Kleindienst has proven to be a goalscorer in the 2nd tier for Heidenheim. He will be the key to Heidenheim's performance.

The writer's opinion


Heidenheim came oh so close to the promised land when they were beaten in the 2019/20 relegation playoff by now 2. Bundesliga rival Werder Bremen. They followed up that season with an 8th place finish, and under Frank Schmidt I see them making progress but not to the level that they had in 2019/20. Another good season in Germany's 2nd tier for FCH
Writer's prediction: 6th

SC Paderborn 07


Key information


Manager: Lukas Kwasniok
Stadium: Benteler-Arena
Founded: 1985, 36 years ago
Nickname(s): No nicknames

Pre-season


Pre-season start: June 26th
Training camp: July 3rd to July 10th
Friendlies: June 26: SCP 5-1 SC Verl, July 3: Hannover 96 1-1 SCP, July 4: SCP 2-3 Borussia Dortmund II, July 10: Ajax 4-1 SCP, July 17: SCP 3-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Summer signings and departures


Additions: Chris Führich (Borussia Dortmund II), Jonas Carls (Schalke 04), Marcel Mehlem (Union SG), Marco Schuster (Waldhof Mannheim), Felix Platte (SV Darmstadt 98), Jannis Heuer (VfL Wolfsburg II), Robin Yalcin (Sivasspor), Luca Marseiler (Unterhaching), John Iredale (VfL Wolfsburg II), Fabrice Hartmann (RB Leipzig, loan), Jasper van der Werff (FC Salzburg, loan), Justus Henke (promoted from SCP II), Pascal Steinwender (VfB Lübeck, end of loan), Adrian Oeynhausen (Rot-Weiss Ahlen, end of loan), Jesse Edem Tugbenyo (Sportfreunde Lotte, end of loan), Antony Evans (Crewe Alexandra, end of loan)

Departures: Chris Führich (VfB Stuttgart), Sebastian Schonlau (Hamburger SV), Sebastian Vasilidis (Arminia Bielefeld), Christopher Antwi-Adjei (VfL Bochum), Rifet Kapic (end of contract), Jayden Bennetts (end of contract), Marcel Heller (end of contract), Marco Terrazzino (end of contract), Chima Okoroji (SC Freiburg, end of loan), Svante Ingelsson (Udinese, end of loan), Aristote Nkaka (RSC Anderlecht, end of loan), Nicolas Bürgy (BSC Young Boys, end of loan), Chadrac Akolo (Amiens SC, end of loan)

First six matches


Matchday 1 - vs 1.FC Heidenheim (A), Saturday 24th July, 13:30 local
Matchday 2 - vs 1.FC Nürnberg (H), Friday 30th July, 18:30 local
Matchday 3 - vs SV Werder Bremen (A), Sunday 15th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 4 - vs FC St. Pauli (H), Saturday 21st August, 13:30 local
Matchday 5 - vs SG Dynamo Dresden (A), Sunday 29th August, 13:30 local
Matchday 6 - vs Schalke 04 (H), Sunday 12th September, 13:30 local

Key player


All change at Paderborn, as fan-favorite coach Steffen Baumgart moves on to Bundesliga side 1.FC Köln and in comes former Saarbrücken manager Lukas Kwasniok. Having signed him permanently, I would've said Chris Führich would be the ideal choice as the key player, but Paderborn elected to sell him immediately to Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart and made a profit on his transfer. Instead, I will go for another striker and this time it's Dennis Srbeny. Srbeny was the top-scorer for Paderborn last season and I think he will be the key to any success Paderborn have this season.

The writer's opinion


Paderborn have been a real yo-yo team in Germany, going on a stretch of 2nd place promotions followed by 18th place relegations and repeating the cycles over and over again. Last season they secured a 9th place finish and I see mid-table being the main priority this season in Kwasniok's first season at the helm. 11th place seems like a reasonable prediction.
Writer's prediction: 11th

Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!


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