Lilian to make home advantage count
Darmstadt were not that active during the summer window. They only signed Sebastian Hertner from Aue, Marcel Franke from English outfit Norwich and Patrick Banggaard from Dutch side Roda, while Marcel Heller from Augsburg is back in Darmstadt after one year,. Kevin Grosskreutz, Markus Steinhofer, Peter Niemeyer, Jan Rosenthal, Romain Bregerie and Dong-Won Ji have left the club. Coach Dirk Schuster will have to replace injured striker Felix Platte ahead of the opening game.
Paderborn have signed midfield player Marlon Ritter from Dusseldorf and Mohamed Drager on loan from Freiburg while Uwe Hunemeier has rejoined from Brighton. Other more unknown arrivals are Sebastian Vasiliadis from Aalen, Tobias Schwede from Magdeburg and Klaus Gjasula from Hallescher FC.
Injured/unavailable: Felix Platte (ligaments)
Injured/unavailable: Tobias Schwede (pulled muscle)
MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN
Darmstadt ended their 2. Bundesliga campaign on a decent run, winning five and drawing six of the last 11 games, but their whole season was a disappointment as they ended up only in tenth place despite having much bigger ambitions before the season. Dirk Schuster won’t have any excuses now, given his recent signings, and much is expected from this side this term.
Paderborn were far and away one of the best team in 3. Bundesliga last season. Aside their second place finish on 83 points with the team clinching direct promotion, it is worth noting that their road form last season was also impressive. They registered 11 wins, five draws and only three defeats in 19 games on their travel, boasting the best away record in the division and keeping a clean sheet in eight of those matches.
It is always hard to start against a newly-promoted team in the opener, but Darmstadt should have the experience to improve from last season. I'm backing a win for the hosts.
SECOND PREDICTION: ODD/EVEN – EVEN
Just two of Darmstadt's last six home games ended with an odd amount of total goals while the same can be said about three of Paderborn's last ten league games on the road. Expect even goals here.
HEAD TO HEAD
These two will meet for the first time in 2. Bundesliga.