Erzgebirge Aue-Greuther Fürth preview

This Saturday afternoon, 2. Bundesliga-leaders Greuther Fürth visit an Aue side who still need a few points to make certain of their place in Germany’s second division for the 2012/13 campaign. With seven games of this season remaining, Mike Büskens’ side are sitting pretty at the top of the league, six points ahead of third-placed Fortuna Düsseldorf (note: only the top two go up automatically). Spurred on by the acquisition of free-agent Gerald Asamoah in January, Fürth have won seven of their last eight 2. Bundesliga games, including key victories over fellow promotion challengers 1860 Munich and Paderborn. The only time the Franconians have suffered defeat since February 3 was against Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals (and even the 1. Bundesliga-leaders needed 120 minutes to put Büskens’ side to the sword). Continue reading

Bochum 6-0 Aue

The first-half formations.

Faton Toski grabbed two goals and three assists as Bochum gave Aue a harsh lesson in the virtues of taking your chances. Despite the hosts bossing the ball in the opening 45 minutes of this Sunday afternoon 2. Bundesliga clash between two mid-table sides, Aue actually had more chances, but were profligate and up against Bochum’s impressive goalkeeper, Andreas Luthe. But, at the other end, Toski and Christoph Kramer helped tear Aue open, with Marcel Maltritz, Mirkan Aydın and Toski himself scoring the goals that gave coach Andreas Bergmann’s side a 3-0 lead at the break. The hosts added two more goals to their tally shortly after the restart, with Toski unplayable and Aue seemingly having thrown in the towel, before Aydın grabbed his second and Bochum’s sixth to cap a memorable day.

Match preview here.

The away side made much the better start, hitting their narrow hosts down the flanks and just generally showing more hunger and power early on. Nevertheless, Luthe was relatively untroubled in the Bochum goal during the first five minutes, and Maltritz stuck to burly dangerman Ronny König like glue. And, it was the home side who had the first real chance of the match through Jong Tae-Se. The North Korean star sliced his right-footed effort wide under little pressure, mind – getting the opportunity in the first place after Aue made a meal of clearing a free-kick, and then being played onside by the ball-watching, trudging-out Adli Lachheb. A minute later, a square was played across the edge of the box to Takashi Inui, who cleverly let the ball run across his body, before having his shoulder-dropping, dummy-throwing jinx halted just before he pulled the trigger. Continue reading

Bochum-Aue preview

It’s 12th against 11th in the 2. Bundesliga tomorrow afternoon, as the division’s most Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde-like sides go head-to-head. Although one might not have expected tomorrow’s visitors to be much higher in the league than they are right now (that is, on 17 points, like their hosts – five ahead of the relegation zone, 19 behind the promotion play-off spot), Bochum were one of the pre-season favourites to secure their place – lost in 2010 – back in the top-flight. After all, they had only just been edged out in the play-offs in May by Borussia Mönchengladbach, who came into this round of fixtures in second place in the Bundesliga.

But, despite little change to the playing staff over the summer, Bochum took several months to get it together at the start of the current season; the squad seemingly not ready to start the 2011/12 campaign back in July, and a bit of lethargy seemingly having set in. Continue reading

Paderborn 1-0 Aue

The first half formations.

A commanding second half performance from Paderborn saw the North Rhine-Westphalian minnows defeat Aue and stay on the heels of the early-season 2. Bundesliga  pace-setters. Despite offering a demonstration in profligacy, the home side bossed the midfield in the second half, led by the imperious Florian Mohr. This hold on proceedings came after a chance-free and lacklustre first half which saw both sides have spells on top, but ultimately fail to do anything with any of the territory gained or – few – openings created. Nevertheless, in the end, Paderborn were good value for their win at the Energieteam Arena, even if they could have scored four or five more goals. The three points are all that matter, though, and this particular batch ensure that Paderborn finish round 13 as one of the five best teams in the division.

Match preview here.

The visitors took control of possession in the opening few minutes, with Paderborn sitting off and letting their confident guests knock the ball about all over the pitch. Roger Schmidt’s tactics of making his home side sit off and wait their turn nearly paid off quicker than he thought in the third minute, when an Aue move broke down in the centre-circle. Mehmet Kara was fed to run at the defence, and cut inside to unleash a shot with his right foot which didn’t go too far wide. As we neared the ten-minute mark, though, Paderborn had grown into a more authoritative, possession-based position. They encouraged the away side to press, and played several long-diagonals and through-balls in the hope of exposing Rico Schmitt’s alarmingly stretched – horizontally and vertically – formation. Continue reading

Paderborn-Aue preview

2. Bundesliga surprise package Paderborn host Aue tomorrow lunchtime as they look to leapfrog fourth-placed St Pauli in the standings. Both sides played in the cup in the week, with Paderborn travelling to second-division leaders Fürth on Tuesday, and Aue hosting Nuremberg the followning evening. The former were battered 4-0, and saw key midfielder Markus Krösche taken off injured (and subsequently ruled out for up to four weeks), his replacement Markus Palionis red-carded, and coach Roger Schmidt sent to the stands. Aue, on the other hand, came away with their pride intact after losing 2-1. Despite coach Rico Schmitt making four changes to the side, the East German outfit gave a good account of themselves, and the signs of fatigue might show well in North Rhine-Westphalia in this fixture. Aue acquitting themselves so well against an established Bundesliga team should come as no surprise, though – they finished fifth in the second-tier last year, and the squad has by and large stayed together with transfer activity thin on the ground over the summer. Continue reading

Erzgebirge Aue 1-0 Alemannia Aachen

The first half formations

Limited but determined Aue overcame an Aachen side who forgot to bring their shooting boots with them to East Germany.

Match preview here.

The away side started the game brightly, stringing together a number of sharp one-twos, looking comfortable and confident both in possession and in their formation, and playing in particular off roving front-man Marco Stiepermann, who showed some neat touches early on. But it was Rico Schmitt’s Aue who created the game’s first chance after Jan Hochscheidt showed power and strength to run from the byline boomerang-style to the D, before skying a right-footed rocket over, ruining his good work. Whereas the hosts were initially more direct in their approach to attacking, often knocking a ball down the wing for one of the widemen to chase, Aachen adopted a more structured approach, generally getting Stiepermann to drop and attempt a flick on for Benjamin Auer after building from the back. Continue reading

Erzgebirge Aue-Alemannia Aachen preview

The new 2. Bundesliga season continues this afternoon with one of the division’s former East German sides coming up against a club who, as recently as six years ago, reached the last 16 stage of the UEFA Cup. But you’re only as good as your last result, so the cliché goes, and if we apply that unwritten rule to league placings, then the team which represents the city of Aue (population 18,000) currently has the higher standing in German football. Whereas Aachen and their leaky defence finished in 10th place at the end of 2010/11, just as close to bottom side Arminia Bielefeld as they were to champions Hertha Berlin, today’s hosts finished in 5th spot. Nevertheless, Rico Schmitt’s side weren’t always the best  side to watch, with few goals going in at either end. Peter Hyballa’s visitors, on the other hand, took a more liberal approach to defending, but perhaps as expected from a coach who joined Aachen from the BVB youth set-up, the side could be quite exciting and very positive in attack. Continue reading