Liga Gameweek 1 Preview
With 3. Liga just a matter of hours away now, I look forward to each of the games.
Magdeburg v RW Erfurt: Friday: 19:30
Last season Magdeburg were crowned winners of the Regionalliga Nordost beating Zwickau to the title by 3 points. They then went on to beat Kickers Offenbach 4-1 in the play off to gain promotion to the third tier for the first time in 7 seasons. Their opponents RW Erfurt finished a solid 12th position in the third tier. They are one of the longest serving teams in the division as they have gone 10 seasons battling it out in 3. Liga and previously Regionalliga Nord when the division was split.
As for the game itself I think the strikepower that Erfurt have will be too much for the new boys to defend against for a full game, however Magdeburg are no slouch going forward either. This game should welcome the new season very nicely with a few goals and a very good crowd.
VfR Aalen v Chemnitzer: Saturday 13:00
After a dismal campaign last time around, another new team to the 3. Liga roster is VfR Aalen. With hopes of bouncing straight back up to 2. Bundesliga after finishing 18th and last with a haul of 31 points. Their opponents Chemnitzer will also be looking to progress themselves further than their 5th position last year and are sure to be gunning for promotion themselves. For the game itself I expect this to be a very tight one, neither have set the world a light during their pre season. This game should show off two of the leagues best teams and they should be very evenly matched.
Dynamo Dresden v VfB Stuttgart II: Saturday 13:00
The hosts of this game Dynamo Dresden will be eyeing a top 3 position come the end of the season after their solid 6th place finish last time around, they have also mightily impressed with an unbeaten pre season, they will be a team coming into the season on high confidence. VfB’s second team will as usual consist of VfB youth and reserve players so that the main team in the Bundesliga can gauge whether they are good enough for the grade, so they will all be out to impress, They finished 13th last season amassing 47 points from the 38 games which for a reserve team is very good. For the game itself I would expect Dresden to come into the game with high confidence and they are on good goalscoring form during pre-season, so should VfB leave with anything they could consider themselves very fortunate.
Erzgebirge Aue v Osnabruck: Saturday 13:00
In the final day drama in 2. Bundesliga last season, it was Erzgebirge Aue who lost out, by a mere 5 goals on goal difference to become the second and final team to be relegated to the third tier, they will be looking to show how strong they are from the off and are one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Osnabruck last season finished a comfortable 11th in 3. Liga and will be looking to improve and could even have an outside shot at the play off position if everything this season goes to plan. As for the game, I think Aue will have too much for many a team this season and this should be no different, they have had a tough pre-season against two bundesliga teams but they shown they are a force to be reckoned with. Osnabruck will be looking to leave with anything they possibly can and would be very smart in knowing they will pick up points elsewhere.
Hansa Rostock v Werder Bremen II: Saturday 13:00
Hansa Rostock, once giants of German football, last season found themselves luckily avoiding relegation to the regionalliga finishing 17th, just 2 points above the relegation zone with a measly 41 points from the 38 games. Their opponents Werder Bremen II won the Regionalliga Nord last season with 67 points from 34 games, in the play off game they beat Monchengladbach’s Second team 2-0 on aggregate in a very closely fought affair. For this game It should be closer than most in the entire season, with both teams looking like they’re going to struggle from the off, anybody who predicts a drab game could be on the money.
Holstien Kiel v Mainz 05 II Saturday 13:00
The northern-most team in the league last season were also the most unlucky, maybe in any league last season, losing agonizingly in the 91st minute of the second leg of the 2. Bundesliga play off to 1860 Munich, this season promises to be a good one, with some astute signings they will be looking at an automatic position this season. Their opponents Mainz II will again be looking to avoid the drop after finishing 16th last season with 42 points, this season will be a tough one for them with Mainz putting more emphasis on their youth in recent years. This game has the potential to be one-sided dependent on how confident Kiel are after their mediocre pre-season, but Mainz need to be stubborn and counter very well if they are to escape with anything.
Preussen Munster v Grossaspach Saturday 13:00
Munster will be looking to improve on their end position last season of 8th position, but in pre-season they have been anything but impressive so the jury is out on how they will do this season. Grossaspach would have been very pleased with their 15th place last season and look like they will consolidate further this season, with mid-table being the aim, a pre-season win over Leverkusen shows what they are capable of. This could be a very close game, despite all signs pointing to a home win, I think Grossaspach are one of the most improved teams in the league and could even be a top half team come the end of the season as could the hosts.
Stuttgarter Kickers v Fortuna Koln Saturday 13:00
The home side in this game finshed 4th last season and like many teams around them will be eyeing a promotion place come the end of the season and they could be in good shape coming in from a reasonable pre-season. Their visitors from Koln will be looking to survive again after a poor pre-season where they struggled for goals, they will be looking to scrap for points but against the top teams a win or even a draw come be hard to come by. In this game it could be the most one-sided of the weekend, with one side gunning for promotion and the others constantly looking over their shoulders. There should also be quite a few goals in this as the home side will be wanting to lay down the marker from the earliest stage in the season.
Wehen v Wurzburger Kickers Saturday 13:00
The hosts of this game finished a very solid 9th last season and will look to consolidate in the top half further but that may be tough from the off considering their up and down pre-season, its hard to gauge how they will start the season. Their opponents Wurzburg are new to the 3. Liga, so a big welcome to them, and they will be looking to consolidate themselves in the league from the off and they have the quality to do so, they gained an impressive 80 points from the Bayern Regionalliga last season and in the play offs they beat Saarbrucken on penalties to see themselves through to the third tier. For the game itself, it should be a very close one as I see both teams having the same traits on and off the pitch, come the end of the game I wouldnt bet against seeing nothing between them.
Energie Cottbus v Halle Sunday 13:00
Last season the hosts finished in a solid 7th position and will undoubtedly be looking to get back to the second tier this term, they look more than well placed to do so with some strong summer signings. Their opponents Halle will be looking to further a successful season last season by improving on their 10th place finishing position, they may even be looking at that 3rd position as an outside shot but more times than not they should be looking for a mid table finishing position. For the match itself, on paper it is a very close one but with the home advantage and new signings looking to impress for squad places, they should have this one covered.