Friday, January 23, 2009

German Bundesliga second half season team by team preview (Part 3)

Last time I have already previewed the 7th to 12th teams in the table. This time I will preview the bottom 6 teams, which they are in trouble in fighting for relegation survival.

Hannover 96 (13th):

Transfer In: Nil
Transfer Out: Nil
Preview: They are the only 2 teams which did not take any actions in the winter transfer (the otehr is Hertha Berlin). I believe they are confident about the team squad and do not want to affect any team chemistry. Jan Schlaudraff and Mikael Forrsell are performing very well so far so that I am not too worried about the attacking. However, they are facing the injury crisis in the defense line, so I personally am very concerned about the squad depth in the defensive line. I believe they are going to have a huge test in the defense in the second half of the season and even I believe they will not be relegated, I believe they find a very hard time to fight for survival.

Arminia Bielefeid (14th):

Transfer In: Vlad Munteanu (MF - VfL Wolfsburg - on loan); Kevin Kerr (MF - Arminia Bielefeld II)
Transfer Out: Siyabonga Nkosi (MF - Maccabi Netanya); Stefan Aigner (MF - 1860 München); Nils Fischer (DF - Wuppertaler SV Borussia - on loan); Bernd Korzynietz (DF - MSV Duisburg - on loan)
Preview: I believe Bielefeld had identified the problem so that they loan Munteanu in order to improve the creativity in the midfield for creating more goals, as they only managed to score 15 times in the first 17 games. Kerr is still doubtful if he can create anything practical in the team or maybe the team just fancy him that he can do anything special. The attacking will be very crucial for them as this is their weakest point in the whole team. Meanwhile, I believe Munteanu will be the crucial player as he maybe the leader in the attacking force. There is still some hope for them to avoid relegation, if the attacking is significantly improved.

Karlsruher SC (15th):

Transfer In: Marco Engelhardt (MF - 1. FC Nürnberg); Giovanni Federico (FW - Borussia Dortmund - on loan)
Transfer Out: Nil
Preview: In these 6 teams mentioned in this article, I believe Karlsruher did the best job in the transfer market. They pinpointed the problem and solved it well. Engelhardt is an effective midfielder and he can help the team to control the midfield well, as they never did it right in the first half of the season. Ferderico on the other hand, is very effective striker and he can convert the chances into goal effectively. However, the only concern of Ferderico is the match fitness. If he can keep himself fit on the field, I believe he can help the striking force and relieve Josh Kennedy. So even they had a long sreak without winning, I believe they are the first team who can pick up the pace and avoid the relegation.

Energie Cottbus (16th):

Transfer In: Jan Rajnoch (DF - FK Mlada Boleslav); Nils Petersen (FW - Carl Zeiss Jena); Ovidiu Burca (DF - Beijing Guoan - loan return); Adi (FW - SK Austria Kärnten)
Transfer Out: Igor Mitreski (MF - Germinal Beerschot - on loan)
Preview: Cottbus is the other team who can point out the problem, but it is very doubtful that those new players can solve the problem. Only scoring 12 goals in 17 games is the primarily problem they must think about, so they sign Adi, who is reported that he can bring the scoring ability from Austria to Germany. Petersen, the other new striker, is still doubtful for improving the scoring problem as he played for the lower division team as well. However, their morale and the attitude are one of the best within all 18 teams in the Bundesliga, so I believe it is their biggest advantage to bring the team out of trouble again, just like in 2007-2008 season. So, Cottbus is the other team I feel optimistic in the relegation fight.

VfL Bochum (17th):

Transfer In: Diego Klimowicz (FW - Borussia Dortmund)
Transfer Out: Tomasz Zdebel (MF - Bayer Leverkusen); Danny Fuchs (MF - 1. FC Kaiserslautern - on loan); Marc Sand (FW - SK Austria Kärnten - on loan)
Preview: I believe Bochum should have done more in the winter transfer market. Only Klimowicz is not enough to fix the problem in the team. They only managed 1 win in 17 games because they do not have efficient midfield attack and the effective striking force. Even Zdebel is only an ordinary player in the Bundesliga, he is very important in the team and now he is gone, I do doubt their leadership in the field. So I do believe Bochum is very hard to avoid the relegation without the leadership, or I can say relegation is inevitable for them.

Borussia Möchengladbach (18th):

Transfer In: Tomas Galasek (MF - Banik Ostrava); Logan Bailly (GK - K.R.C. Genk); Dante (DF - Standard Liege); Christian Dorda (DF - Borussia Möchengladbach II); Tony Jantschke (MF - Borussia Möchengladbach II); Paul Stalteri (DF - Tottenham Hotspur)
Transfer Out: Soumaila Coulibaly (MF - released); Sebastian Svärd (MF - Hansa Rostock - on loan); Sascha Rösler (MF - 1860 München); Alexander Voigt (DF - SpVgg Greuther Fürth); Sharbel Touma (FW - released); Uwe Gospodarek (GK - released); Marcel Ndjeng (MF - released)
Preview: From this long list I can see Gladbach are really panic in the relegation fight. It seems they have placed their last chip in the gambling table. This is not a good moment to change so drastically in the winter transfer market as the team needs to rebuild the chemistry. Those new players are quite good on quality so their experience can improve the team in certain extent. However, it is really doubtful that they can get along to each other in a such a short period of time. Now time is the biggest enemy of Gladbach and they do not have time to test the new tactics and the players anymore. In some extent they can fight back in the game but generally they cannot avoid relegation.

So that's it in my team by team preview. As the season is getting closer to start, I will make the matchday prediction weekly.

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