Road exploits begin with tricky trip to Paderborn
Hamburger SV take part in the last game of the 2nd weekend in the Bundesliga on Monday night (kick-off 8:30pm CET), against SC Paderborn 07 at the Benteler Arena.
The Benteler Arena is the first destination for the Hamburger SV Mannschaftsbus in the 2020/21 season, as the second matchday of the 2. Bundesliga sees the second fixture with a side relegated from the Bundesliga for the Rothosen. Daniel Thioune will be hoping for a repeat of matchday 1 on Monday night in North-Rhine Westphalia, as Fortuna Düsseldorf were left largely ineffective for large swathes of the first league game of the season at the Volksparkstadion last Friday. It is likely that Paderborn will offer a sterner test, Steffen Baumgart's cavalier approach gaining many admirers in the first, second and third tier during their rapid accesion to the top, their attacking style of play guaranteeing a threat going forward but also leaving SC open at the back.
Focus on the hosts
Whilst the cliché is often used in football, SC Paderborn 07 can safely say that the last seven years have been a rollercoaster ride for the club in Germany’s footballing heartland, North-Rhine Westphalia. Promotion from the 2. Liga in 2013/14 saw the Blue and Blacks playing in the Bundesliga for the first time the next season and despite a good start to the campaign, finished bottom of the table. That began a downward spiral, as SCP were first relegated from the 2. Liga before finishing in the relegation zone of the 3. Liga in 2016/17. Paderborn were only saved by the fact that 1860 Munich didn’t receive a licence for the third division and thus got relegated from the 2. Liga straight to the fourth tier, handing the Blue and Blacks a reprieve. Steffen Baumgart’s charges used this reprieve to their advantage, earning a sensational back-to-back promotion, pipping HSV amongst others to automatic promotion to the Bundesliga in 2018/19. Baumgart was unable to stop the yo-yo trend, as SCP finished dead last in the top tier last season, relatively free-scoring as they have been throughout the 48-year-old’s reign but simultaneously porous at the back. After seven seasons of either promotion or relegation, all in Paderborn will be hoping for a season of relative calm and consolidation this time out, with promotion straight back to the Bundesliga not on the wishlist for the SCP faithful just yet.
Opposition scouting report
Baumgart has largely been able to keep the Paderborn squad intact over the summer, the only significant departures being that of Luca Kilian to Mainz and club captain Klaus Gjasula to Monday night’s opponents HSV. Highly-rated central midfielder Sebastian Vasiliadis has remained at the club despite rumoured interest from a number of suitors, whilst a move for forward Streli Mamba to 1. FC Köln fell through after a failed medical for the 26-year-old.
Baumgart will be hoping for a speedy recovery for Mamba and talisman Sven Michel, who injured ligaments in his knee in training on Friday and will be out for the foreseeable future. The goalscoring burden thus falls squarely on Dennis Srbeny, who returned to the club after a disappointing spell in Norwich, but was one of few bright spots in the Rückrunde for a Paderborn side whose last win came against Freiburg on the 25th January. Baumgart preferred a 4-4-2 formation in the opening day 1-0 loss against Holstein Kiel, thus entailing a change of formation in Michel’s absence or the introduction of youngster Julian Justvan. Kai Pröger and Christopher Antwi-Adjei will likely provide the pace down the flanks and look to get in behind the Hamburg backline, as Daniel Thioune commented at Sunday's pre-match press conference, "as we saw last season, Paderborn like to go from back to front quickly, and try and get the ball forward as early as possible."
Vagnoman replacement and striking dilemma for Thioune
The Rothosen were dealt another injury blow last Wednesday as Josha Vagnoman tore the outer ligament and pulled the inner ligament of his left ankle during training and will be missing from action for several weeks. Jan Gyamerah was able to complete 90 minutes for the under-21 team last Sunday but it is unsure if the 25-year-old's body is ready for 90 minutes of second division action just yet, with the question remaining of who will start in the right-back slot. Aaron Opoku also picked up a slight knock in training on Friday and will miss out, whilst Ewerton only managed 45 minutes on Wednesday evening for the under-21s in their 3-2 loss to Eintracht Norderstedt, as the Brazilian's long-term fitness still remains doubtful.
Thioune was coy on who would start up front at the Benteler Arena at Sunday's press conference, unwilling to show his hand but confirming that "everyone has made a very good impression in training this week. Who will start will remain my secret until tomorrow, though." Whilst it would be expected that Simon Terodde would start given his two-goal match-winning exploits against Fortuna Düsseldorf last Friday, the 33-year-old hasn't played a great amount of first-team football over the last 12 months and has to take care of his body with a long season ahead. Daniel Thioune will be hoping for a second win in as many games to set the Rothosen on the right course for the season, especially on the road where HSV have struggled the last two seasons.
The opening day win against Fortuna Düsseldorf was the first time HSV had started the season with a win in the 2. Bundesliga, and the first win on Matchday 1 since 2017.
There have been four league and three cup meetings between the sides in total, and HSV have their noses in front overall with four wins to three. There hasn’t yet been a draw between SCP and HSV.
Paderborn’s opening day loss in Kiel was familiar territory for the SCP fans, as the last win on matchday 1 was in 2011. Six defeats and three draws have followed.
Where can I watch the game?
U.K./Ireland: BT Sport 2
Netherlands: Fox Sport 4
Denmark/Finland/Norway/Sweden: Viaplay, V Sport Football
Poland: Eleven Sports 3 Poland
Czech Republic/Slovakia: Digi Sport 2, DIGI GO
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