Kaiserslautern take on Hannover 96 at Fritz-Walter-Stadion on the first round of the 2. Bundesliga.
Twenty years ago Kaiserslautern were Bundesliga champions and Champions League participant. Now they are stuck in the 2. Bundesliga struggling to promote to the elite division. Last season they took 10th spot with 45 points in 34 games played. This summer, the hosts played 6 friendlies games as they beat Pfeddersheim (5:0), Psibram (3:0), tied Brentford and Metz (1:1 both) and lost to Luzern (0:1) and St. Gallen (0:2). Perhaps not the best result for the team that sets its goal to promote to the Bundesliga.
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Hannover in their turn finished on the 18th spot in the Bundesliga with 25 points earned and 31:62 goal difference and were relegated to the lower tier. This season, Hannover won’t be battling for the spot in the Europa League, as they now need to return to the 1. Bundesliga as soon as possible. During their preseason, Hannover 96 played 7 friendlies recording 5 wins and 2 draws with 37:11 goal difference. Obviously they did not face any resistance in those games.
The last time these teams played each other was 2011/12 season, when Hannover secured 2:1 home victory and tied Kaiserslautern on the road 1:1. It will be the first match between two title contenders so we expect spectacular football.
Prediction for the match: Over 2 goals.