Clash of the 2. Bundesliga Titans
The 2. Bundesliga gets underway with an absolute corker this Friday evening with Schalke hosting Hamburg. Two of German football’s sleeping giants scrap it out looking for the perfect start to the season, both sides in a situation where anything but promotion would signify this campaign as a failure. Dimitrios Grammozis remains in the Veltins Arena hot seat, he was their fifth appointment of the 2020/21 season to which they finished rock bottom of the Bundesliga. Arguably the third biggest club in all of Germany find themselves in the second tier in Schalke, they will be desperate to bounce back at the first time of asking.
There still seems to be a bit of unrest amongst the squad, with a few of the more high profile members of the squad not very engaged in pre-season as they seek moves elsewhere. Simon Terodde was the second top goal scorer in the 2. Bundesliga last term, the 33-year-old was picked up by Schalke on a free transfer from Hamburg this summer. It will be interesting to see how he approaches this fixture and fares in the whole season looking to backup the 24 goals he scored in 2020/21. Amine Harit is still in the Royal Blues’ squad though it is unclear whether he will feature in this match, the Moroccan would be one of, if not the, most skilled player in the division should he commit to the club.
Malick Thiaw is a precocious young defender in Schalke’s ranks and could be in for a big season, if he can prove his worth in the second tier, a 19-year-old composed defender can command a fair whack in the transfer market these days. Scouts around Europe will certainly be tracking his progress.
Robert Glatzel returns to Germany after an unsuccessful spell in the English Championship with Cardiff City, he has good experience at 2. Bundesliga level and the 27-year-old will be looking to kick on into the top tier, the man Hamburg have earmarked to score the goals to fire them up. Ludovit Reis is an interesting acquisition from Barcelona, the 21-year-old Dutch central midfielder will be looking for a springboard for his career and the 2. Bundesliga may provide that platform.
The relegation hangover is still present in the Schalke squad, therefore the value in this affair is with the visitors. They are heading into their fifth straight campaign in the second tier, hoping it will be their last.