The 2nd Bundesliga starts on Friday for the 2021/22 season. It could really be the strongest second division in history this time, not just thanks to the prominent relegated teams. Before you start, throw SPOX and goal together with ex-Schalke coach and second division legend Peter Neururer a look at the 18 clubs. Who can hope for promotion, for whom is it all about staying up? The power ranking at the start of the second division season.
Kick-off program: Dynamo Dresden (A), 1. FC Heidenheim (H), SV Darmstadt 98 (A), 1. FC Nuremberg (H), SV Sandhausen (A)
“We are on a great path. It couldn’t have gone better,” said managing director Manuel Sternissa after the promotion, pointing to the successes of the football department. Ingolstadt is again one of the 36 best teams in Germany, so the anticipation is correspondingly great. Nevertheless, the FCI managing director also warns: “Of course it will not only be the best, but also the most difficult second division.”
With the transfer balance, the Ingolstadt-based company kept a promise. Yassin Ben Balla (free transfer from Eintracht Braunschweig) and Jan-Hendrik Marx (free transfer from Waldhof Mannheim) are only two external players who have come up with a new culture. In the future, people want to rely more on their own talents, building on the successes of their own junior teams. The new coach Roberto Pätzold also comes from his own youth. The permeability in the club itself is program.
But Peter Neururer, who was on the sidelines as a coach in the lower house 342 times, doesn’t think so much of the Schanzern.
18th place – FC INGOLSTADT
Kick-off program: 1. FC Nürnberg (A), FC St. Pauli (H), FC Schalke 04 (A), SC Sandhausen (H), Holstein Kiel (A)
After initial difficulties, the Erzgebirge Aue stabilized at the end of last season, distanced itself from the relegation places and ended the season carefree in twelfth place. This should be repeated this year, if possible, even if the circumstances could make it much more difficult.
In the upcoming season you have to reposition yourself, especially on the offensive, because with Pascal Testroet (twelve goals, nine assists, to Sandhausen) and Florian Krüger (eleven goals and seven assists, to Bielefeld) the best strikers have left the violets. The new head coach Aleksey Shpilevski should now solve this task and lead Aue to relegation. It will be exciting to see how Bayern talent Nicolas Kühn will do in the league. The 21-year-old attacking player was brought to Aue on loan and should develop further.
“Due to structural problems, Aue could be ripe this year. What has been happening there in the management floor for years will at some point no longer be acceptable,” Neururer believes in a direct relegation of the Saxons. “In addition, Pascal Testroet and Florian Krüger, two goal guarantors, are changing clubs. They played against relegation last year, so Aue will be hit this year.” If improvements are not made on the transfer market and a new man is signed for the storm center, the Auern lack life insurance. The result will be direct relegation at the end of the season.
Kick-off program: Karlsruher SC (H), Hannover 96 (A), 1. FC Heidenheim (A), Dynamo Dresden (H), Werder Bremen (A)
On the last day of the previous season, SV Sandhausen was a guest at the promotion ceremony of VfL Bochum. First as the first well-wisher, then with their own party, because like Regensburg, the people of the Electoral Palatinate only saved themselves in the final sprint. Now you go into the tenth second division season in series.
In order to have something to celebrate at the end of the coming season, the team has grown. Although Diego Contento (without a club) and Kevin Behrens (free transfer to Union Berlin) have left SVS, Gianluca Gaudino (free transfer from FC St. Gallen), Patrick Drewes (free transfer from VfL Bochum) and Pascal Testroet (free transfer from FC Erzgebirge Aue) ) now on board. The latter in particular can be seen as a real reinforcement.
16th place – HANSA ROSTOCK
Kick-off program: FC Ingolstadt (H), Hamburger SV (A), Hannover 96 (H), Hansa Rostock (A), SC Paderborn (H)
The tearful farewell from the 2nd Bundesliga was followed by direct promotion. But in the heavily occupied division, the Saxons will be challenged even more from the first match day than in the previous season, which ended with the third division championship.
The foundation is in place, even if the 31-man squad consists of very different characters. “The team is growing together better and better. It was already a good community and I have a good feeling, the climate is good. It’s harmonious without us just hugging each other and everything is peace, joy, pancakes – it’s getting down to business on the pitch. That’s the way it should be, ”said coach Alexander Schmidt.