Magdeburg’s players celebrate as they beat bitter rivals Hallescher 1-0 at the MDCC Arena last season
Magdeburg To Take Fine Form Into Derby Double Header
23 August 2017
- Magdeburg set to take on rivals Hallescher and Hansa Rostock in next two league games
- Christopher Steegmann’s side sit top of the 3. Liga after 6 games
- Second placed Chemnitzer FC currently 5 points off the pace
Heading into the final weekend of August, 1. FC Magdeburg sit top of the fledgling 3. Liga table having accumulated 16 points from their first possible 18 in the league. The sides first 6 games have seen them meet sides such as VfL Osnabruck, Wehen Wiesbaden and Preussen Munster, three sides tipped to be competing for at least a Play Off place in the division this season, but Christopher Steegmann’s side have risen to the challenge and beaten all three sides, with Paderborn being the only team to take points off the former European Cup Winners Cup Champions. With Magdeburg now being billed as potential promotion candidates their next two fixtures will perhaps be their biggest and most difficult of Steegmann’s reign as they meet bitter rivals Hallescher and Hansa Rostock in back to back fixtures.
What has been the key to Magdeburg’s early season success though? If Christopher Steegmann is to be believed, hard work is the key ingredient with the manager accrediting his side with the title of the hardest working side in the division. The stats definitely favour this title, with Magdeburg the best side at keeping the ball in the 3. Liga having kept an average of 59.17% of possession across their 6 games so far, the best pass completion ratio in the league at 81% whilst having made 180 tackles in the league so far this season. Steegmann likes his side to press their opponents and keep the ball once they have won it back which is backed up by the stats, whilst the manager isn’t afraid to tell his wide players, Philip Turpitz and Tobias Schwede at the start of the season, but who has been replaced by Florian Pick of late, to run at their defenders, resulting in Magdeburg averaging 13 dribbles per game, also the highest of any team in the division.
In Christian Beck, Magdeburg also boast the highest goalscorer in the league with the target man having scored 6 goals, with Steegmann adjusting Magdeburg’s approach to suit the man who has kept summer signing Felix Lohkemper out of the side so far this season. With a 50% shot on target ratio, Beck is averaging a goal every 60 minutes so far this season and looks the deadliest forward in the league and looks more than likely to better his tally of 17 goals in 36 appearances in the division last season. Philip Turpitz has been an outstanding summer signing, averaging a 7.93 so far this season, receiving 3 Man of the Match awards, laying on 3 goals for his team, but it is his direct runs that cause problems for the opposition.
Defensively the side look strong too with full backs Nils Butzen and Michel Niemeyer restricting themselves to not pushing too high up the pitch, meaning that the central defensive pairing isn’t left too exposed. Alexander Brunst is a more than capable keeper at this level, having kept 4 clean sheets in Magdeburg’s 6 games, whilst looking more than comfortable against higher class opposition as he produced some stunning saves in the DFB-Pokal against Hamburg little over a week ago, in what would be Magdeburg’s only defeat under Christopher Steegmann in his 7 games in charge.
In Hallescher FC, Magdeburg will meet a side under Rico Schmidt who has steadied the ship at the club and established the side as a steady mid table side in the 3. Liga, however that doesn’t take away from the rivalry between the two sides, evidenced by the mass celebrations at the end of Magdeburg’s 1-0 victory at the MDCC Arena in the corresponding fixture last season. Hansa Rostock though are looking at promotion so far this season, sitting second in the 3. Liga, 5 points behind Magdeburg and looking to gain some ground on their rivals going into the game at the Ostseestadion on August 29th. Magdeburg though will go into both games as favourites after such a good start and come the end of the season you wouldn’t bet against the league leaders having bragging rights over both rivals.
: Yeah I was quietly confident heading into the game, it’s unfortunate but just means we’ve got the season now to concentrate on the 3. Liga
: Yeah disappointing to be knocked out but a straight run for promotion now
: Thanks man, really enjoying writing it atm so glad it’s being enjoyed
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