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HSV, FC Schalke 04, Werder Bremen: elephant race of the 2nd Bundesliga

Hamburg, Schalke and Bremen scramble for promotion in the elephant race of the 2nd division. It is quite possible that none of the three makes it in the end.

The Hamburger SV did not let the trip into the sun be taken. While Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen canceled their training camps in the south due to corona worries and tackled the mission ascent in the German rain, HSV enjoyed warm days in Sotogrande during the winter break. The team had “created a bubble” in Spain and was “even closer together”, said sporting director Michael Mutzel with satisfaction.

So the advantage of Hamburg? When the 2nd Bundesliga starts the new year on Friday, the little things can make the difference. Because behind the a little bit lost clubs St. Pauli (36 points) and Darmstadt 98 (35) the big bellow begins for third place. The following seven clubs are separated by just three points. So if things go really bad for the three elephants, none of them will make it back up through the bottleneck.

HSV already knows that. First, second and again first were the Rothosen in the past few years after 18 match days. The promotion never worked, so there was always a new coach. This year Tim Walter can try it. “We want to play football successfully, we’re doing well at the moment, and then at the end of the day we’ll take a look at the table,” Walter said rather cautiously to the “Abendblatt” in Spain.

With the game on Friday in Dresden (6:30 p.m. / Sky) and the derby against leaders St. Pauli a week later, two final exams await HSV. Because the Walter team has only lost one of the last 15 point games, there is hope. “We have developed from week to week and month to month and have become more stable on and off the field,” says Mutzel: “I don’t see why this process shouldn’t continue.”

Tied on points with HSV, however, Schalke, fourth in the table, is also lurking in third place – at least. The Royal Blues actually wanted to travel to Belek, Turkey, in winter, but stayed at Berger Feld. “The most important thing is that we prepare well,” said sporting director Rouven Schröder: “The club that brings the most healthy players onto the field increases the likelihood of being successful.” The team is also a sworn bunch.

Hitting and stinging allowed in the 2nd Bundesliga

Again just one point behind Schalke, Werder is still hoping for a direct return to the upper house – after the moderate start to the season and the fuss about the fake vaccination certificate from the then coach Markus Anfang, this is not a matter of course. Three wins in a row gave the green-whites hope before the winter break. “We have developed a good position as hunters and we don’t have to hide from any opponent in the league,” said full-back Anthony Jung.

The only problem: In addition to St. Pauli and Darmstadt, Nuremberg, Heidenheim, Regensburg and Paderborn also have a say. There is a punch and a sting waiting.

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