Jahn Regensburg – Fortuna Düsseldorf preview

Can Regensburg really fight for the third place or Fortuna will be again topping the table?

Jahn Regensburg has had a dream second league season and have been in top form recently. Coach Baierlorzer sends his team in a variation of 4-4-2 (4-2-2-2 or 4-2-4) system with a very flexible offensive line. The wingers are actually quasi wingers; they move inside and clear the flanks for the full backs’ forward runs and crosses (this could be a big advantage if Fortuna’s wide men don’t defend well). They constantly change positions with the strikers confusing the opponent’s defense. They are fast and very aggressive. They put the opposition under early pressure, stay very close to them and recover a lot of balls in their half (10.2 / match, one of the best value in the league).

Jahn Regensburg is one of the most offensive teams in the league with 330 attacking passes (70% accuracy). Fortuna has only 301 attacking passes, but better accuracy – 75%. The drawback of every highly offensive and aggressive team is the space offered for quick attacks and Düsseldorf has high pace in the offensive department. Painfully missed will be Marc Lais (suspended), the main ball distributor and probably the best midfielder in the squad with 1.4 key passes (0.8 successful) per match, compared to Geipl (0.5/0.3) or Gimber (0.6/0.3).

Düsseldorf Coach Friedhelm Funkel must change his team again. Good news is that Raman is available again, meaning more speed and creativity in attack, although it’s not sure if from the first minute or only in the second half. The reason behind this decision might be that he is not a very good defender and would be an excellent option to bring fresh legs in the second half, when the hosts will get tired. Quick attacks should be the key for Fortuna in this match in order to exploit the space left behind by Regensburg. Bad news is that Sobbotka is missing ill. Bodzek should take his place and fulfill mainly defensive duties in front of the back line. Neuhaus will play the key role to link the defense with the attack. He should manage to solve 1v1 situations with his 4.4 successful dribbles per match and accurate passing (84% / match). Düsseldorf must highly improve the aggressiveness in duels comparing to the last away game (only 37% of the duels were won in Berlin) and Bodzek’s presence should be a good argument with 57% of won challenges per match.

During the season Funkel proved to be full of surprises regarding his system and starting lineups, due to the high quality in his squad. We could see a completely unexpected formation in Regensburg, even with Speedy Gonzalez Raman starting on the bench.

Missing players:

Jahn Regensburg: Lais (suspended)
Fortuna Düsseldorf: Rensing, Wiesner, Haraguchi (injured), Sobottka (ill)

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Serban Ciulei

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