The 2. Bundesliga season continues tomorrow afternoon as the side currently sat in seventh visit a team who have started the new league campaign with one win, one draw and a loss. If Greuther Fürth hadn’t thrown away the 2-0 lead they held at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on the opening day of the 2011/12 campaign, they’d be sat on top of the league right now with nine points out of a possible nine rather than six. Nevertheless, they have bounced back strongly after that agonizing round one setback, beating Union Berlin 4-0, Dynamo Dresden 1-0, and knocking lowly Eimsbütteler TV out of the cup with a 10-0 scoreline. Make no mistake – coach Mike Büskens and his side will be among the promotion contenders come the final month or two of the season. And, who knows, they might just go all the way after being the bridesmaid for so many recent seasons if new Canadian signing Olivier Occean keeps up his great form in front of goal.
Büskens, who switched between 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-3-2 formations throughout last season, but now seems to have settled on the former given the form in front of goal of both Occean and Christopher Nöthe. Transfer activity at his club has been thin on the ground this summer save for one notable departure, with young midfield magician and last season’s top scorer Nicolai Müller leaving for Mainz in a €1.8million deal – not that the team has played like they miss him. For the trip from Bavaria to Roger Schmidt’s Paderborn, Büskens will be without injured striker Kingsley Onuegbu and defender Christian Dorda.
Schmidt, who has switched between a 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-1-1 during his side’s first four games of the new campaign, also has two injury worries, with defender Florian Mohr and striker Sven Krause expected to miss out against Fürth. His side were hammered 3-0 by Union Berlin last weekend, a week after they too progressed to the next round of the cup with a 10-0 win; the lower-league victims in Paderborn’s case being Rot-Weiss Ahlen. Paderborn started the season with an unexpected win away at Hansa Rostock, before drawing 1-1 in front of 11,000 fans at their Energieteam Arena with Fortuna Düsseldorf. Their most notable summer signing was US striker Matthew Taylor, who scored a hat-trick against Ahlen (his former club), and also has one goal in the league, despite playing from the bench twice.
Other key acquisitions include striker Nick Proschwitz, signed from FC Luzern in Switzerland, Mehmet Kara (Preußen Münster), and left-back Jens Wissing, signed from Bundesliga outfit Gladbach. The club has neither spent or received anything when it comes to transfer fees, although last season’s top-scorer, Edmond Kapllani, has returned to Augsburg after his loan spell at Paderborn. The fact he only scored eight times perhaps indicates why the minnows finished as low as 12th, just eight points above the relegation zone.
Paderborn vs Greuther Fürth kicks off tomorrow at 12pm in the UK, and can be watched live on Bet365.com.