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Bundesliga 2018/19

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by uamini, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Jul 24, 2018
    #1

    uamini Full Member

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    The 2018/19 season of the Bundesliga will kick off in exactly one month on August 24th when Bayern München play Hoffenheim at home.

    The DFB-Pokal will start one week earlier as usual, giving us our first taste of German football.

    The following teams will be competing for the title:

    * Bayern München (CL)
    * FC Schalke (CL)
    * 1899 Hoffenheim (CL)
    * Borussia Dortmund (CL)
    * Bayer Leverkusen (EL)
    * RB Leipzig (ELQ)
    * VfB Stuttgart
    * Eintracht Frankfurt (EL)
    * Mönchengladbach
    * Hertha BSC
    * Werder Bremen
    * FC Augsburg
    * Hannover 96
    * FSV Mainz 05
    * SC Freiburg
    * VfL Wolfsburg
    * Fortuna Düsseldorf (P)
    * 1. FC Nürnberg (P)

    Trivia:

    * Bayern München have now won 6 championships in a row, 15 out of the last 22 and 21 out of the last 34 Bundesliga seasons.
    * This will be the first time Hoffenheim plays in the Champions League.
    * Nürnberg last played in the Bundesliga in 2014 whereas Düsseldorf played one lone season in 2013 after last being seen in 1997.
    * This is the first Bundesliga season that doesn't feature Hamburger SV.
  2. Jul 24, 2018
    #2

    uamini Full Member

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    5 years ago Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund played the Champions League final. Interest in the German league then grew even further as Pep Guardiola joined Bayern and the German national team became World Champions in Rio.
    Yet here we are in 2018 and it's hard to remember the last time the Bundesliga was in such poor shape.

    What went wrong? That's difficult to answer, however there are a myriad of problems currently plaguing German football:

    * Bayern München had been the team to beat for a while but they've taken their dominance to a different level in the past few years. No one has even been able to challenge them and this turned a once-competitive league into a boring event that always has the same outcome.
    * While they dominate on a national level they seem to find it increasingly more difficult to remain a top European side. Their stars are aging and they seem unwilling to spend the money necessary to replace them, opting for cheaper options instead.
    * Dortmund has been unable to maintain its spectacular run from a few years ago. Instead of establishing themselves as one of the great European teams they know have to be careful not to be overtaken by other German clubs.
    * Most other German teams have adopted a very reactive style of play that is based on exploiting other teams' mistakes instead of creating chances on your own. This has led to some very weak EL performances by German teams who were unable to break down weaker opponents who were parking the bus.
    * Fans have been picking an almost silly amount of fights with the league, ranging from the dreaded 50+1-rule to the use of pyrotechnics or even playing matches on Monday. One thing is obvious, German fans are very conservative and react negatively to anything they see as an attempt to commercialize their league.
    * What's even worse is that all that additional money the new tv contracts brought in hasn't changed anything. Bundesliga clubs (except for Bayern) try to buy young players and lose them to richer clubs as soon as they turn into stars. Even German coaches and scouts have now been recruited by foreign teams. This pre-season has been remarkable in that there has been an extremely low amount of transfers so far. Everyone is waiting for the Premier League transfer window to close before making their own move.
    * And last but not least, the once mighty National Team now has to deal with problems of its own. It started with waning interest in friendly matches as people were annoyed by Oliver Bierhoff's endless attempt to commercialize the experience. A wave of discontent kept growing and then peaked during Germany's shocking performance at the Russian World Cup. And just when you thought they had reached the bottom there comes Özil and his retirement, attacking the German federation in its core and making you wonder what the ramifications of this will be. Fun fact: the hosts of the 2024 European Championships will be decided on September 27th. It will either be Germany or...Turkey.



    Then again maybe I'm wrong and this will be the most exciting season in years...maybe.
  3. Jul 24, 2018
    #3

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    Fixed that for you;)
  4. Jul 24, 2018
    #4

    uamini Full Member

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    Yeah I almost wrote it that way as well. :)

    Then again they seem more vulnerable than in previous years, with a new coach and coming off a weak end of season. There's just no other team that seems ready to take them on.
  5. Jul 24, 2018
    #5

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    I like the moves RBL have made but, can not really see anyone challenging Bayern this season. As of now my guess would be Bayern, Dortmund, RBL, Leverkusen in the CL positions.
  6. Jul 24, 2018
    #6

    uamini Full Member

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    It's still early but so far last year's top 4 have almost exclusively picked up Bundesliga players whereas the likes of Leipzig, Stuttgart and Mönchengladbach have been the ones looking abroad for new signings.
    It does make sense to get players who already know the league but I hope those that went with a riskier approach get rewarded for it. This league is in dire need of new faces.
  7. Jul 24, 2018
    #7

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    You see Schalke moving down from 2nd to 5th? They had a pretty good window, whereas Leipzig hasn‘t even replaced Keita yet. He will be a huge loss.
  8. Jul 24, 2018
    #8

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    Their 2nd place finish last season felt a little flukey and now they have CL to deal with. And they really lack match winning attacking players like Leverkusen have with Bailey, Brandt; Dortmund have with Pulisic, Reus(they need a CF though); RBL have with Werner, Forsberg, Augustin.
  9. Jul 24, 2018
    #9

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    All the players you mentioned except for Reus are pretty inconsistent. Schalke signed Mark Uth on a free, he scored more league goals than any player in your post last season. He is not CL quality, but he is great for collecting points in the league, even against teams like Bayern.

    I may be wrong, but I think Schalke are in a great position. Because of their strong defence, they only need 1 goal to collect the 3 points most of the time. Nastasic/Naldo/Sane is a great line up, even in the CL one of the best.

    Now that I talked up Schalke, watch them falling to 10th next season:lol:
  10. Jul 24, 2018
    #10

    FootballHQ Full Member

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    Who are favourites to go down this year?

    Usually look at the promoted two but Nuremburg have decent recent experience of Bundesliga although no clue on how good their squad is.

    Normallly established clubs struggle more. Wolfsburg seem to have taken over Hamburg's mantle of play off survivors. Think Mainz and Augsburg will be down there aswell.
  11. Jul 24, 2018
    #11

    uamini Full Member

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    Keep in mind that Schalke had no European matches to play last year. They currently don't have the depth to go through a CL campaign without losing a bit of focus needed for the Bundesliga. Giving away Goretzka and Meyer for free is going to hurt as well even though the replacements aren't bad. They could get another CL spot but I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish a bit lower than that.

    As far who's going to get relegated, that's very hard to tell at this moment. If the bigger teams are waiting for Premier League to finish their shopping before stepping in then that is even more the case for those teams with less money.
    Düsseldorf, Nürnberg, Freiburg, Mainz, Augsburg, Hannover are obvious picks but things don't always work out that way. Hertha could get in trouble early on since Selke and Darida are missing the first few weeks, Frankfurt will have to learn to cope with EL matches while adjusting to a new coach. If you add Bremen and Wolfsburg then that's more than half the league that needs to be careful.

    I'm also curious to see how Stuttgart will evolve. They seem to be prime candidates for a breakout year but maybe last year's big run at the end was more about momentum than about quality.
  12. Jul 25, 2018
    #12

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    I think Schalke have good depth in the squad, especially compared to those small clubs going to europe every season. Their bench will consist of the likes of Kehrer, Stambouli, Burgstaller, Skrzybski, Schöpf, Baba, Konoplyanka, Embolo etc. Those players are not great individually, but certainly good enough to do a job in the meritocratic system of Tedesco and good enough to win against some pesky Europa League sides, which is where I see Schalke ending up after Winter.

    I think Hannover looks like your typical second year promoted team on the way down again. Lost some important players, got some sub-par quality in (Bobby Wood:houllier:) and the situation is still toxic between the Management and the fans, as far as I know.

    Stuttgart and Gladbach are your wild cards for challenging the Top6, they brought some great players into the league. Plea and Maffeo especially will be two of the best players in the league, I‘m sure. Those clubs have the two best Directors of Football in the country, but I think both have a weakness at the manager‘s chair.
  13. Jul 25, 2018
    #13

    do.ob Full Member

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    @Don Alfredo
    You talk about Schalke's depth but what about their first team?

    Naldo had a terrific season, but he will turn 36 at the start of the season, will he be able to sustain that level with three competitions?

    Caligiuri was an anonymous midtable player at Wolfsburg and played his first truly good season at age 30, contributing some clutch goals/assists to make something happen in matches where Schalke were otherwise toothless. Will he be able to replicate that form or is he a one hit wonder?

    Meyer is gone on a free and I don't think Mascarell, who has some question marks regarding his fitness, is coming close to him in terms of structuring possession.

    Serdar isn't exactly an equal replacement for Goretzka either, the €11m Schalke paid for him weren't really seen as a bargain.

    Uth looks like a great capture, but on paper he's the only significant upgrade to their first team.

    I don't see Tedesco's tactics as an asset either, I don't think they play any more sophisticated than your average Bundesliga team and like the others they struggled a lot with chance creation when their opposition didn't allow them to counter attack, matches where you couldn't tell which team was fighting relegation and which was 2nd were quite common for them. They ranked 7th in xG for last season and a distant 4th in xPTS behind Leverkusen and Dortmund, despite everyone agreeing that they had a fabulous season. They rely more on hard work and running than controlling a game, something which often hurts these teams when they make it into EL/CL.

    Leverkusen already played better football last season, Bayern is Bayern, Dortmund will likely recover under Favre and Leipzig should be doing better than last season as well. Unless Tedesco evolves his approach significantly they will struggle to repeat their top 4 finish.

    While I like the capture of Plea, I don't think Gladbach will be able to do much more than challenge for top 6, because Hecking imho is mediocrity personified.
  14. Jul 25, 2018
    #14

    Charles Miller Full Member Verified Moaner

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    Kind off topic but some of you could tell how you rate Bailey? Saw him few times. Looked good but far from the hype i read in the Caf these days about a "Hazard in making". Is a potential wc player?
  15. Jul 25, 2018
    #15

    uamini Full Member

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    Well he certainly looked like a potential world class player during the first half of the season. He's been pretty mediocre in 2018 though so he still has to prove that he's able to deliver now that opponents know what they're up against.
    Leverkusen has a lot of exciting players...if Paulinho ends up being worth the hype then they'll have incredible depth up front for a Bundesliga team - Alario, Paulinho, Volland, Brandt, Bailey, Bellarabi. Not to mention that everyone except Bellarabi is 25 and under.
  16. Jul 25, 2018
    #16

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    Wow I didn‘t want to end up as the Schalke superfan:lol:

    No one knows when Naldo will decline and they will miss his goals, but they got Sane who is equally strong defensively.

    I always thought Caligiuiri was an above average Bundesliga player, in 14/15 he had 10 goals 9 assists and the next season he kicked Man Utd out of the CL if I rember rightly...

    Dunno about Serdar, but Meyer‘s and Goretzka‘s contribution to last season‘s success is wildly overstated. Both played less than 2000 minutes in the league, Meyer was frozen out in the second half and Goretzka was playing like shit after he got his Bayern contract.

    Why is Sane over Stambouli/Kehrer not seen as a significant upgrade?

    xG is a good point, I agree with you about Schalke being lucky last season. I still think they were the most stable in their performances, BvB and Leverkusen repratedly fell apart on multiple occasions. I also think xG is an indicator, but not the perfect answer. People use it to determine which team was better, and they reduce the game to 10v10. The difference in goalkeeping quality is not accounted for, the chances have the same % according to their model. That is a major flaw imo, look at those blunders by Burki last season, which cost you points on several occasions.

    Fwiw, I also think Dortmund will be in front of Schalke. I just don‘t think it is a certainty that Leverkusen and Leipzig are better than them. I especially despise Leipzig‘s tendency to play 2 18 year olds at CB:lol:. I mean playing youth is well, but those sort of things cost the Bundesliga big time in european competitions.
  17. Jul 25, 2018
    #17

    do.ob Full Member

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    I'm not saying Naldo will turn to shit, he was just so massively imortant for them last season, not only with his great defensive contribution but also with some Ramos-esque goal scoring (scoring the lead in both matches vs Stuttgart, against Hamburg (though they lost eventually), the last minute equalizer in Dortmund and the 2:0 in the return match, the last minute equalizer in Frankfurt) that it would be tremendous for any (non world class) player to repeat such a season.

    Caligiuri's 14/15 stats were padded by 2 goals and 3 assists against second division teams in the cup and he played less than 20 minutes vs Real, but it's entirely possible that I underrate him in general, he was never a player i focused on and I remember mostly some particular moment of his from last season.

    Goretzka's contribution is indeed overrated, because he didn't do to well after his move to Bayern was announced, still he is a very good player individually and played a big role in building up their momentum in the first half of the season.
    Regarding Meyer I have to disagree though, I think he elevated their possession/build up play to another level, not in a flashy way, but rather with his consistency. He was their chance at controlling games.

    I think Nastasic and Kehrer are already fairly good CBs for Schalke's standing, so I don't think Sane will elevate them to a next level there, but since the latter had quite a good season for Hannover that's probably at least debatable.

    I don't see xG as an ultimate truth, it's just more objective than simply saying they were lucky.
    And sure Schalke were very consistent, but it's more the case of consistently being (just) decent and consistently not being great. In Leverkusen I saw a team that could potentially control and dominate matches against weaker opposition, I think their results suffered greatly because they had a young team and a new coach and since they kept that team together (Hradecky for Leno doesn't change a lot for them imho) and even added two promising players it's naturally to expect them to build on their previous season and mature.
    I don't think it's set in stone that they will finish ahead of Schalke, but I'd say they are a bit favoured.
  18. Jul 25, 2018
    #18

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    Meyer missed large parts of Schalke's season and they actually collected more points without him (on average). In the games without him playing a full game (less than 50 minutes) or with no minutes at all, Schalke had a points per game average of 2.0625, which puts them on 70 points after 34 games. 7 more than their points total last season. Regardless if that is much better or not, it just means that their results didn't suffer at all. With him, they went on an 10-Matches unbeaten streak after Match Day 7, but half of those games were draws. Their best form was actually during the run-in, collecting 29/36 points, and Meyer had little to do with that (just 2 games with more than 50 minutes). They didn't need him cause their game was never about controlling possession, it was about dominating both boxes and wearing the opponent down with annoying tactics:wenger:

    I like Nastasic, but I rate Sane much higher than Kehrer. Did you watch him in the world cup? I thought he was impeccable. I rate him as one of the best CB in Bundesliga. There are like half a dozen top clubs where he could play in the starting XI. I am not the only one rating him that high, Kicker have him as the 4th best Bundesliga CB last season and Whoscored have him as the 2nd best after Naldo.
  19. Jul 28, 2018
    #19

    uamini Full Member

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    In other news, Hannover's Martin Kind is now officially going to court over the 50+1 issue.
    Might take a few years but it's expected that a regular court will outlaw that rule, potentially opening the league to bigger investors.
  20. Jul 28, 2018
    #20

    Santi_Mesut_Alexis_87 New Member

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    Are Dortmund finally capable of challenging Bayern? This league is so boring.
  21. Jul 28, 2018
    #21

    uamini Full Member

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    The sad part is that if you remove Bayern, it instantly becomes the most competitive big league in Europe.

    I was just playing around with Champions League numbers earlier on, taking a look at the amount of teams per country that had qualified in the past 15 seasons.

    Germany leads the big leagues with 11 teams (49 appearances; 4.5 appearances per team), Spain has 10 (58; 5.8 app/t), Italy 8 (48; 6.0 app/t) and England an incredibly low 7 (61, 8.7 app/t)...makes that Leicester championship run sound even more insane.

    If you check how many of the CL spots were taken by the 6 most succesful teams during that time period, you get a whooping 98.4% for England, 95.8% for Italy, 93.1% for Spain and 85.7% for Germany.

    That's probably why so many people have kept watching even though the same team seems to win it every year. The rest of the table is much more dynamic than in other leagues which makes being a fan of a mid-table club more exciting.
  22. Jul 28, 2018
    #22

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    And I find mid table and lower table sides more interesting to watch in the Bundesliga than they are in the PL, La Liga or Serie A.
  23. Jul 28, 2018
    #23

    damageinc. New Member

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    There's no much interest about how many german teams could actually qualify to CL groups if most of them (Bayern aside) can't even pass these groups….Uefa coefficient/results are showing us how much Bundesliga have fallen down in the last 3/4 years, Ligue 1 could take you in about 2/3 years.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
  24. Jul 28, 2018
    #24

    uamini Full Member

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    4 years ago better than England and France (4/4 got past the group stage)
    3 years ago better than England, Italy and France (2/4)
    2 years ago better than Italy and France (3/4)
    last year was weak, and it resulted in a 1.7 point deficit against France (1/3)

    The last time before that that France had a better season than Germany was in 2006/2007.

    Your post may be slightly hyperbolic....
  25. Jul 29, 2018
    #25

    damageinc. New Member

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    You actually proved that the decline of Bundesliga is happening, now 5 points behind Serie A despite having surpassed them in 2010 and having a total german CL final in 2013.
    The gap between Bundesliga and Ligue 1 is still big but considering the current trend of the german league (which is all based on Bayern results in Europe) I wouldn't be surprised if the french could actually make it as I said.
  26. Jul 29, 2018
    #26

    damageinc. New Member

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    Question to the german/Bundesliga fans: how is possible that a promising player like Max Meyer is still out of contract and without a squad at the age of 23??
  27. Jul 29, 2018
    #27

    Javi Full Member

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    Only speculating, but the most plausible reason sure is that he and his agent think that he's some sort of re-born german Xavi.
  28. Jul 29, 2018
    #28

    hasanejaz88 Full Member

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    He is too far up his own a*se to understand that he isn't as good as he thinks he is and therefore is demanding wages and fees no club wants to accept. He finally had a good season, after his first in 2013/14, last time but decided to ditch Schalke in the pursuit for more money.
  29. Jul 29, 2018
    #29

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    Schalke (2nd in Bundesliga) offered him a salary of 5.5m€ p/y and he turned it down because he thinks he could get more money / a better club. Then he was touted around clubs like Hoffenheim (4th in Bundesliga), Leipzig (6th in Bundesliga) and AC Milan (6th in Serie A), but nobody wanted to give him the wage he wanted.

    His agent actually called him a player who is going to become world class and who is going to the world cup 2018 in Russia. Look how that turned out:lol:
  30. Jul 30, 2018
    #30

    Blackwidow Full Member

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    Might have a little to do with his position, too. That no. 10 spot he used to play or want to play is not the position that most teams want to play with or they occupy today with faster players. He is too slow for the wing. And even if he showed that he can play deeper in the recent season - he is not an established player there.
  31. Jul 30, 2018
    #31

    GhastlyHun Full Member

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    Groundhog day news: Werder Bremen have re-re-re-signed Claudio Pizarro (probably missing a few re).
  32. Jul 31, 2018
    #32

    Don Alfredo Full Member

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    Max Meyer is signing for Crystal Palace. From 2nd in Bundesliga to 11th in Premier League...

    I congratulate Crystal Palace on snapping up a future world class player and national team member for free:)
  33. Jul 31, 2018
    #33

    Blackwidow Full Member

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    Just one. It is the fifth time.

    :D
  34. Jul 31, 2018
    #34

    RW2 Full Member

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    Will there be any Bundesliga players left to play in the Bundesliga?

    As Premier League teams seem to be picking them all up.

    At least, and finally, premier league managers & scouts have discovered where the best players in Europe play. . . Germany.
  35. Aug 2, 2018
    #35

    Skontra New Member

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    This season is going to be quite interesting because we have so many teams that can achieve an international spot

    BVB (good signings so far but still need a CF although Favre is known to play without one), Leverkusen (Paulinho, Hradecky, Weiser and only lost Leno -> good summer) will probably fighting over 2nd and 3rd spot

    Behind them there will be Schalke (lost Meyer, Goretzka and got Serdar, Sane, Mascarell and Uth), Leipzig (only loss is Keita, added Mukiele, Saracchi and still are looking to sign someone for midfield and if possible lookman)

    And right behind them we have Hoffenheim (lost Uth, added Grifo, Belfodil, Adams, Bittencourt, Brenet -> good add-ons), Gladbach (lost Vestergaard [they have enough talent at that position] and grifo, added: Plea, Poulsen, Lang and I believe they are not finished)
    I am very excited about Stuttgart (Maffeo, Gonzalez, Sosa, Castro, Didavi and only Ginczek left)

    And then we probably have one team that will suprises us.
    Mainz, Augsburg, Frankfurt, Hertha, Bremen -> one of those teams will also be in the mix

    Unfortunately I dont see anyone competing against Munich for the top spot
  36. Aug 2, 2018
    #36

    GhastlyHun Full Member

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    Oh let's just wait and see. I do believe we are approaching a level of averageness where others like Dortmund and Leipzig can beat us.
  37. Aug 2, 2018
    #37

    sNaj New Member

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    Remains to be seen if Kovac ist able to remain the domination.
    Compared to his predecessors he is relatively unproven.
  38. Aug 3, 2018
    #38

    FootballHQ Full Member

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    Hamburg starting their Bundesliga 2 era today.

    They've actually kept most of their squad together looking at wiki (boy wonder Arp is still there) so would imagine a quick return.
  39. Aug 3, 2018
    #39

    Blackwidow Full Member

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    Behind 0:1 against Kiel with new coach Tim Walter (was before coach of Bayern's U23)

    Edit: 0:2 :D
  40. Aug 3, 2018
    #40

    Acrobat7 Full Member

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    :lol:

    I forgot about Lasogga.