Together they have 177 Bundesliga years, in a first division with the 18 first in the all-time table they would all be there.
But in the season of the 2nd Bundesliga, which starts on Friday, the traditional quintet Hamburger SV (55 Bundesliga years), VfL Bochum (34), 1. FC Nürnberg (33), Hannover 96 (30) and Fortuna Düsseldorf (25) with different prerequisites and sometimes great uncertainty about an ascent that is sometimes vital for survival, especially in Corona times. On which relegation Paderborn, relegation participant Heidenheim and possible surprise teams such as Darmstadt or even Sandhausen can hope for without boldly formulated goals.
“The 2nd league is more exciting than the Bundesliga,” said the former master coach Felix Magath, who as “Head of Flyeralarm Global Soccer” is the strong man behind the promoted Würzburger Kickers, in a discussion at “Sport Bild”. “I would draw the circle of favorites very large,” said Dieter Hecking, who was sitting next to him. In the previous year he had failed to get promoted with HSV and is now supposed to reanimate the club from Nuremberg, which has almost made it into the 3rd league.
Hecking’s successor Daniel Thioune may still have the best squad available at the former Bundesliga dinosaur from Hamburg, but also the greatest pressure. The return to the Bundesliga is practically a must – with the trauma of two missed attempts in the neck and a significantly reduced budget. And now with the cup bankruptcy at the third division club SG Dynamo Dresden including the headline-grabbing fan tussle by defender Toni Leistner.
Directly in the opening game on Friday (6.30 p.m. / Sky), Hamburg received the second top favorite with relegated Düsseldorf. Fortuna initially found it difficult to name promotion after 17 departures. But with a good structure and newcomers like Edgar Prib, he should be a goal. “If the others let us, we naturally want to move up,” said sports director Uwe Klein. For trainer Uwe Rösler, HSV is “clearly the top favorite” because the budget is still “by far the highest. We’ll have to wait and see if we’re the top favorites. We still have a few construction sites. “
In Hanover, people have deliberately parted ways with supporters like Prib and ex-world champion Ron-Robert Zieler. The goals are clear after missing the direct promotion in the previous year. “We have to go up now,” said President Martin Kind, also against the background of the corona losses. Coach Kenan Kocak was not very enthusiastic about the clear requirement that he was “not a fan of long-term goals”.
Nuremberg missed the rebound even more clearly than the Lower Saxony, in the end the Franconians separated only a few seconds from the 3rd division. With Hecking and talented coach Robert Klauß (35), previously assistant to Julian Nagelsmann at RB Leipzig, things should now go up. Hecking pointed out that the process is currently underway. “If we have a run in the end, we won’t fight it.”
For Magath, the group of candidates for promotion is fixed. “Who should be promoted apart from Hamburg, Hanover, Nuremberg and Düsseldorf? I don’t know anyone, ”he said. Hecking is also thinking of Bochum, who recently scored the most points of all teams after the Corona break: “VfL reminds me of Arminia Bielefeld, who was promoted this year.”
And who could still become the new Bielefeld? Maybe the Heidenheimers who failed without defeat in the relegation to Bremen? “We definitely can’t have this goal,” said coach Frank Schmidt in “Sport Bild”, referring to the loss of key performers: “We can’t do magic in Heidenheim.” Heidenheim is one of the candidates, coach Steffen Baumgart from Düsseldorf’s fellow relegated Paderborn. “But I wouldn’t count us among the favorites.”
Darmstadt is also mentioned again and again after a strong second half and with the new coach Markus Anfang, who led Kiel into relegation in 2018 and Cologne to promotion in 2019. And some people even have confidence in Sandhausen: The village club from near Heidelberg was fifth in the post-corona table and strengthened itself well.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200916-99-586517 / 4 (dpa)