Season Preview – Eintracht Braunschweig – Seeking Consistency

The difficult second season.

A fierce local rivalry with Hannover 96, the involvement in the biggest Bundesliga scandal to date, and one Bundesliga championship is what Eintracht Braunschweig is known for in and around Germany. The team from Lower Saxony has certainly played its part in Bundesliga history, but the team has struggled for a long time, being an elevator team, mostly playing third tier football of late.

The team is going into the upcoming 2. Bundesliga season with a lot of positive energy, however. Two 1-1 draws, one against Valencia and the other against Panathinaikos, have shown that Eintracht certainly do possess a lot of quality in their squad. The only side to defeat Eintracht during their pre-season friendlies has been third tier side Arminia Bielefeld, who won their match against the team from Lower Saxony 1-0.

The season ahead

Eintracht played some very fine attack minded, free-flowing football last season, especially at the beginning of the 2011/12 season. The newly promoted team managed to stay close to the promotion spots for some time, but faded away towards the end, finishing their campaign on a respectable 8th spot.

Now it is time to face the difficult second season after the promotion of 2011, where the team will try to manifest its position in Germany’s second highest tier. It bodes well for the team that the most important players of the previous season have all chosen to stay at the club. The goal scoring duo up top, Dennis Kruppke and Dominick Kumbela, scored a combined total of 20 goals last season. Defender Ken Reichel and holding midfielder Damir Vrancic have chosen to stay at the club as well, meaning that the defensive side of the game won’t suffer in the upcoming season.

Torsten Lieberknecht’s men are going to face Köln, Union Berlin and Paderborn in their first three matches of the upcoming season. Their performance in those three vital ties might show what is in store for the rest of season.

The transfers – adding depth and youth

Eintracht’s new arrivals don’t look too spectacular on paper. But, don’t be fooled. The club has chosen to bring three young players, Jonas Erwig-Drüppel, Björn Kluft and Orhan Ademi, in addition to the 25-year-old midfielder Kevin Kratz into the team.

Left winger Kluft had a somewhat impressive season at 3. Liga side Preussen Münster last season, scoring 5 goals in thirty matches. Holding midfielder Kevin Kratz has joined the side from Alemannia Aachen. The holding midfielder is adding some experience to the side.

Verdict – Avoiding relegation is all that matters

Keeping hold of some of their most important players has been an important step for the team. Going into the next season they’ll probably face a tougher challenge this time around than last season, given the fact that the team hasn’t been strengthened a lot. This time around Eintracht might have to fight for their lives for most of the season.

Given the team’s current roster it looks like the team has enough quality to stave off relegation, provided they avoid major injury troubles. Eintracht are currently trying to establish themselves in the 2. Bundesliga, and avoiding relegation is the most important objective this season as well.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 32-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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