Friday 11th February (18.00, 17.00 UK time)
1. FC Union Berlin – VfL Osnabrück
Fresh off their wonderful, bet-ruining, derby win in front of 75,000 at the Olympic Stadium (see EFWs blog entry on this) , Union will want to extend their lead over an Osnabruck side who lie only one place below them in the table. A win for Union could lift them 9 points clear of the relegation play-off place, whilst a defeat for VfL could see them wake up in the dreaded 16th place on Saturday morning.
Rot-Weiß Oberhausen – SC Paderborn 07
Oberhausen is famous for a certain psychic Octopus, not the struggling fortunes of its football side RWO. Friday evening’s clash at the Niederrheinstadion sees Paderborn (a side in reasonably good form) looking to take all three from the side in the worst form in the 2.BL. Oberhausen have only taken one point from the last fifteen available – a run of woe that has left them precariously close to Ingolstadt in 17th.
Friday 11th February (20.30, 19.30 UK time)
FC Augsburg – MSV Duisburg
Friday night’s game is perhaps the most intriguing of the 2.BL lot this weekend. Two points between them all season (Augsburg – 2nd 40 pts; Duisburg – 4th 38 pts) and an identical form guide over the last 5 games suggests the battle of the ‘burgs is almost impossible to call. Three of the league’s top’s marksmen – Nando Rafael and Michael Thurk (both AUG), Stefan Maierhofer and Srdjan Baljak (both MSV) will all feature.
Saturday 12th February (13.00, 12.00 UK time)
SpVgg Greuther Fürth – FC Energie Cottbus
Both Furth and Cottbus will be looking three points on Saturday as both teams have failed to win since week 19. A win for either team puts them within touching distance of the promotion places. Cottbus make the long trip south with Nils Peterson, 2.BL’s joint top scorer, seeking to add to his 13 goals this season.
Alemannia Aachen – FSV Frankfurt
Two of the 2.BL’s deadliest marksmen in Benjamin Auer (AAC, 13 goals) and Sascha Mölders (FSV, 12 goals) will go head to head in Aachen on Saturday afternoon. With teams currently occupying the boring mid-table spots, it’s vital for both that they pick up the maximum should they want to make the top teams sweat late on.
Sunday 13th February (13.30, 12.30 UK time)
Fortuna Düsseldorf – FC Ingolstadt 04
Fortuna will be looking to extend their stunning home form (7 wins on the bounce) on Sunday against Ingolstadt. It has been quite a turnaround for F95 who started the term with six consecutive defeats before winning at Osnabruck. The away side will be encouraged by their 1-0 victory last time out against dead and buried Bielefeld. Fortuna will be hoping for more production from new signing Ken Ilsö who bagged a ‘trick in his first home outing vs FSV. Ingolstadt will be hoping they don’t go the same way as FSV, who were hit for six.
DSC Arminia Bielefeld – VfL Bochum 1848
When relegation fodder Bielefeld take to the field on Sunday, they’ll know they won’t face a tougher home game this season. Friedhelm Funkel’s Bochum have racked up eight straight 2.BL victories since their shocking 4-1 home reverse to Ingolstadt in week 13. Bielefeld, in contrast, haven’t won since week 12 against Osnabruck. Stranger things have happened….
Karlsruher SC – Hertha BSC
Sunday afternoon sees another relegation threatened team, Karlsruhe, host another highflier, Hertha. Hertha will be looking to take out some anger on someone after their surprise derby defeat last Saturday. Karlsruhe won’t have been in a very good mood this week either. They were thumped at Paderborn last week but had previously secured a solid three points at home to Cottbus. It Karlsruhe are to survive, it’ll be their home form, but Hertha have won a respectable five on the road so far.
Monday 14th February (20.15, 19.15 UK time)
FC Erzgebirge Aue – TSV München von 1860
Newly promoted Aue are still in with a realistic shout of promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history. They lie just three points off third, largely due to their imperious home form. But having lost for the first time at the Erzgebirgsstadion all season in their last home game, Aue will have to return to winning ways on Monday night should they want to push on. 1860, meanwhile, are seeing their season peter out towards mid-table mediocrity. Benjamin Lauth is available and will want to add to his 10 goals so far.