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Why you need to start watching the 2. Bundesliga

Sunday 22nd January 2017
The 2.Bundesliga returns from its winter hibernation with a bang next Friday night as 1860 Munich take on Greuther Furth in the Bavarian derby. The second tier in Germany is probably a league you have never found yourself watching, but here is the definitive list of why you should find a stream next week.

It's unpredictable

The league is one of Europe's most unpredictable, even more so than the English Championship, with every team capable of beating one another. This season, for example, leaders Braunschweig lost to 7th place Dynamo Dresden 3-2, third placed Stuttgart lost to relative unknowns Wurzburger Kickers and second placed Hannover lost to Nuremberg. This makes for an incredibly tight league where every game really does count. With only 5 points separating the top 4 it is still anyone's game.

With VFB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 getting relegated last season, the league also houses some of Germany's biggest and most supported teams. Most of the clubs in the league have a long and illustrious history, meaning most supporters have been fans for generations. As well as the two aforementioned teams, 1860 Munich, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Nuremberg and Kaiserslautern all play in stadiums which seat over 50,000 spectators. This makes the 2.Bundesliga one of the most watched second divisions in the world. However it is not exclusively new build stadiums, teams such as St Pauli, Wurzburger Kickers and Furth have smaller, quainter stadiums perfect for the traditionalist. The mix of grounds is one aspect which really makes this league stand out.

Goals, goals, goals

The 2.Bundesliga is very rarely boring. Games are often high scoring affairs, with teams prioritising attack over defence. Games are open and 3-2 score lines are not uncommon. Last season Freiburg scored 75 goals on their way to winning the title, second placed Leipzig scored 54 and third placed Nuremberg scored 68. With an averaging over 2.5 goals per game the excitement hasn't dried up this season. Betting on both teams to score in the 2.Bundesliga is not often money wasted.

Tickets are cheap (and so is the beer)

Last season the most expensive adult ticket you could buy for any game in the 2.Bundesliga cost 52Euro. To put this price into perspective, this is cheaper than a ticket in the away end for Arsenal v Manchester City. On average tickets cost 21Euro, with the cheapest tickets available at RB Leipzig for 10Euro. With prices like these, it is easy to see why stadiums are full. Another perk of German football is the lack of an alcohol ban. This means you can drink beer in view of the pitch without the risk of being thrown out. In the 2.Bundesliga the average pint price is just £3.50. This means you can get a ticket and a pint for less than the average ticket price in the English league 2.
The first game weekend of the year has two stand-out games. Bottom-placed St Pauli face high flyers Stuttgart and Nuremberg play Dresden. Both games are on Sunday at 12:30 pm and are well worth watching. The 2.Bundesliga is one of Europe's most exciting leagues, you'll thank yourself for watching it.
Stephen Parkinson
23 year old Football fan, player and referee. Specialising in the Bundesliga since having lived in Leipzig for 2 years.

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