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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Hamburg no bankers in Bundesliga 2 opener

Holstein won't Kiel over

Pierre-Michel Lasogga is back at Hamburg after an unsuccessful loan spell at Leeds
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Bundesliga 2
BT Sport 2, 7.30pm

Fourteen draws in 34 matches undermined Holstein Kiel's promotion push last season but the Storks would settle for a share of the spoils from their tough Bundesliga 2 opener at Hamburg and they look capable of holding their own.

Hamburg are odds-on to win their first match outside of the top flight since 1963.

Until last season Hamburg were the only Bundesliga team to have never been relegated but their proud record had been under threat in recent years.

In 2014 and 2015 Hamburg had to win a relegation playoff to maintain top-tier status and their luck ran out last term as they finished second bottom with just 31 points.

Hamburg scored just 29 goals and midfielder Lewis Holtby and winger Filip Kostic shared their top-scorer honours with just five each.

Striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga has returned after a loan spell at Leeds and could provide a much-needed focal point to the Hamburg attack, but he has struggled to build on the promise of the 2013-14 season when he bagged 13 goals in 20 league games.

There is plenty of time to bring in more recruits before the end of the transfer window, but for now Hamburg's lack of quality attacking options are a concern.

And they may struggle to break down well-drilled Holstein Kiel, who had the joint-fourth best defensive record in Bundesliga 2 last term, conceding 44 goals in 34 games.

Holstein Kiel finished third but missed out on promotion after losing a 4-1 on aggregate to Wolfsburg in a two-legged playoff.

However, Holstein Kiel's 18-goal top scorer Marvin Ducksch has moved to promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf and they may adopt a more cautious strategy against Hamburg as they prioritise avoiding defeat in their opening match.

1pt 27-10 Hills

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Hamburg scored just 29 goals last term and midfielder Lewis Holtby and winger Filip Kostic shared their top-scorer honours with just five each
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