As the winter break coming to an end, all teams are geared up to fight to improve the result, like chasing for the title, improving the result, or avoiding relegation. Now I will divide into 3 parts to preview each team in the second half of the season:
1899 Hoffenheim (1st):
Transfer In: Timo Hildebrand (GK - Valencia)
Transfer Out: Jochen Seitz (MF - Alemmania Aachen); Francisco Copado (FW - SpVgg Unterhaching); Thorsten Kirschbaum (GK - FC Vaduz)
Preview: Generally Hoffenheim is very quiet in teh transfer market, they only signed a new goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand. This is a good move for them as Hoffenheim does not have any good goalkeeper at all. Plus the inexperienced defensive line, their defense is very vulnerable. So I believe Hildebrand can lead this defense line so that they can become solid in the defense. The attacking line did not change too much. However, there was a major setback that the leading scorer, Vedad Ibisevic, had been seriously injured and was confirmed that he will be out for the remaining of the season. The attacking line of Hoffenheim had lost the leadership and the other players such as Demba Ba, and Carlos Eduardo will be the critical point to lead to the team to continue the miraculous display.
FC Bayern München (2nd):
Transfer In: Landon Donovan (FW - LA Galaxy - on loan)
Transfer Out: Nil
Preview: Not surprising, Bayern is not the team which change too much in the winter transfer window. They only loaned Landon Donovan from LA Galaxy until 15 March. It is believed that Bayern would like to extend the loan deal if his performance is not too bad. They are in the formidable form before the end of 2008 and I believe their performance will continue to get better and better. The only concern is the defense is the major problem they need to think about. They lost too many careless goals in the first half of the season, so it is very crucial if they defend well. Moreover, the Champions League is coming into the climax and they will be distracted for sure. So the critical points for them are, they have to keep winning before the Champion League restarts, and, Landon Donovan can be the reliever of the attacking force.
Hertha Berlin (3rd):
Transfer In: Nil
Transfer Out: Nil
Preview: Well, I guess they are very happy with their display, they really deserved it to be frank. Their defense is very solid that the other teams cannot break them through easily. So they decided to do nothing in the winter transfer market in order to keep the team chemistry. The other factor that favoring them is, they have been eliminated from the European competition so they can focus into the league wholeheartedly. This is an obvious advantage for sure because when the league is getting into the climax, the team fitness is the most important factor. So I believe their excellent performance will continue to carry on so that every team should be careful.
Hamburger SV (4th):
Transfer In: Nil
Transfer Out: Vadis Odjidia-Ofoe (DF - Club Brugge); Anton Pusila (MF - Dinamo Minsk - loan return)
Preview: Not much change on Hamburger side, they only cleared out the unused players so I believe it did not affect the team chemistry. The Croatian duo, Ivica Olic, and Mlaten Petric will be the most important players in the attack, just like the first half of the season. With the aid of Pitor Trochowski, I believe their attacking is very threatening still. However, they did not get any new defenders and it will be the major setback for them. This is because the defense is not solid at all, so that it will affect their performance in the second half of the season. Furthermore, after the restart of the UEFA Cup, I believe their team fitness will be tested significantly so I believe they are very likely to lose points and then to be out of the title race.
Bayer Leverkusen (5th):
Transfer In: Tomasz Zdebel (MF - VfL Bochum)
Transfer Out: Marcel Risse (MF - 1.FC Nürnberg - on loan); Stefan Reinartz (MF - 1. FC Nürnberg - on loan); Atanas Kurdov (MF - FC Winterthur - on loan); Jens Hegeler (DF - FC Augusburg - on loan)
Preview: Generally Leverkusen did not change too much at all. They only purchase the substitute player, Tomasz Zdebel from Bochum. I believe it will not affect the starting lineup too much so it means Leverkusen still trust the young guns in the team. So their consistency will be the main factor to decide if they can go further. The players who are sent out are all for the loan, so that Leverkusen are keen on sending out the potential players in order to let them gain more match experiences. As they are all unused at the moment, I believe even there are lots of players are sent out, it will not affect their performance comparing to the first half of the season.
Borussia Dortmund (6th):
Transfer In: Kevin-Prince Boateng (MF - Tottenham Hotspur - on loan)
Transfer Out: Giovanni Ferderico (FW - Karlsruher SC - on loan); Diego Klimowicz (FW - VfL Bochum); Marc-Andre Kruska (MF - Club Brugge)
Preview: Change has been made in the defensive midfielder side. Maybe Kruska is not happy with lacking of first team football so he decided to leave. Therefore Dortmund to loan the unused Tottenham Hotspur player Boateng. Even though the player roster has changed, I do not believe there is any change in terms of the team strength. It is predicted that Boateng will be still the substitute, just like Kruska. Again young gun performance will be the main key to lead them to achieve further success. I believe their performance can challenge all the teams in the league. However, their lack of experience will also make them down.
So that's it for the first part. The second part I will preview the team from 7th to 12th in the table.