7/6/20 2:30 pm
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FC Heidenheim is hosting Werder Bremen at Voith-Arena in the second leg of Bundesliga Relegation/Promotion playoffs.
Heidenheim was pretty lucky to get to these playoffs, but nevertheless, they are here. I was expecting for Heidenheim to put a fight in the first leg, but I wasn’t expecting such a good performance from them. Heidenheim was the underdog in this match and they had only 33% of ball possession, 7 corner kicks, 68% of the correct passes, but 0 shots on goal. Heidenheim didn’t come to Bremen to win this game, but they are going home with a positive 0-0 result. This was a game where Werder had plenty of chances, but Heidenheim has put on some of their best defense of the entire season. Thiel is the only injured player for Heidenheim, and he won’t be able to help his team in this game. Tim Kleindienst has been Heidenheim’s top goal scorer in Bundesliga 2 this season and he is expected to start in this game as well. Did Heidenheim deserved to get promoted to Bundesliga, probably, but there is still one more step before that, and that is the second leg at home, normally, this would be an advantage, but since there are no fans on the stands, the home field doesn’t mean much.
Same as Heidenheim, Werder was also extremely lucky to get to these playoffs, even if they probably didn’t deserve it. Werder ended the season in 16th place with 31 points, just 1 point above the relegation spot. As I’ve mentioned above, Werder was dominant in the first leg, but as many times this season, their offense has failed them, and Werder failed to beat the team from the second division at home. One more proof that the home field advantage doesn’t exists without the fans. Mohwald, Sahin, and Beste are all injured, while Agu, Schonfelder, Mina, and Moisander are all suspended because of the yellow and red cards. Rashica and Osako were Werder’s top goal scorers with 8 goals each this season, while Klaassen added 7 goals. Werder is coming into this second leg wounded, but we know that the wounded animal is the most dangerous one, and I’m sure everyone is Werder are hoping that’s the case, but let me tell you, Werder has done absolutely nothing this season to show us what they can do, and being here is the work of pure luck. The bad form Werder was in during the season doesn’t just go away, and despite being the professionals, players still feel the pressure, and to be just one goal away from the relegation is a big pressure.
Maybe I’m being hard on Werder, after all, they are playing against the team from the second division, but that team has earned their spot in these playoffs and their desire to get to Bundesliga is probably stronger the Werder’s desire to stay in Bundesliga. I will side with Heidenheim.