The race for promotion is more intense than ever in Bundesliga 2, with up to half the division in the running. But who as stood out alongside the league's top scorer Guido Burgstaller? We take a closer look...
Only Hamburg have conceded fewer than Darmstadt’s 20 goals so far this season, a fact that is largely down to the strength of Schuhen’s performances between the posts. The custodian has only shipped 15 across his 16 appearances, whilst keeping seven clean sheets. As such, Die Lilien are well in the hunt for promotion and a return to the top flight.
Bader's become a real weapon at right-back for Darmstadt. As well as ranking in the division's top 15 players for challenges won, and as his club's hardest-runner, he's also produced four assists across wins over Ingolstadt, Sandhausen and Erzgebirge Aue.
Itakura's giving parent club Manchester City plenty of food for thought at promotion-chasing Schalke. The Japan international has started every game since Matchday 4, and is among the Royal Blues' top five for aerial challenges won. He also ended the year with goals in back-to-back games.
Hamburg could have used David to keep out Itakura on Matchday 18. The 21-year-old is enjoying a breakout campaign at the heart of the HSV defence, only missing the final five matches of 2021 because of injury. The Red Shorts have only lost once on his watch, while he boasts the best pass completion rate in the league (92.72 percent).
Club: St. Pauli
St. Pauli have flirted with promotion several times over the years, but the reason they’re looking like serious contenders this season has a lot to do with Kyereh. The 25-year-old occupies the space just behind the strikers for Pauli and is doing a lot of damage: he is the division’s leading assist provider with nine. He is also one of the most trigger-happy players in Bundesliga 2 with 47 shots on goal, five of which have gone in.
Club: Jahn Regensburg
On-loan from Bayern Munich, New Zealand international Singh has been tormenting Bundesliga 2 defences thus far in 2021/22. The 22-year-old has started every game for Regensburg, contributing five goals and seven assists to his side's promotion push. He has also covered more ground (118 miles/ 190.4 kilometres) than any Regensburg player and just Jan-Niklas Beste (453) can be found sprinting more than Singh (449) in red and white.
Similarly putting his talismanic qualities to good use, Kittel has Hamburg dreaming of a return to the Bundesliga promised land after a four-year hiatus. The former Eintracht Frankfurt prospect has produced four goals and eight assists, giving him the biggest combined hand among his teammates.
Ouwejan trails only Kyerah and Kittel for assists (seven). The Dutchman has proved a real boon for Schalke as they bid to do what Hamburg couldn't, and bounce straight back to the big time. A very modern wing-back, he's third in the league for most crosses from open play (69).
Now in his sixth season at Paderborn, Michel is looking better than ever and has been directly involved in 54.8 per cent of his side’s 31 goals so far (13 scored, four assists). That puts him second league wide, just one behind Pauli's Burgstaller, in terms of total direct goal contribution.
Watch: Sven Michel's nine-minute hat-trick against Karlsruhe
Club: St. Pauli
Burgstaller tops the charts, with 14 goals from 31 efforts on target and 62 attempts on the opposition goal. The former Nuremberg and Schalke striker has hit three braces, whilst chipping in with four assists. Without his input, leaders Pauli could be as many as 13 points off.
Watch: Guido Burgstaller haunts ex-club Nuremberg
It is not difficult to decipher why Terodde has become known as 'Mr. Bundesliga 2'. The veteran frontman scored 11 times over the first nine matchdays, before making history as the second tier's all-time leading marksman on Matchday 14. Despite missing Schalke's final four fixtures of 2021 through injury, he's still third in this season's scoring charts, with 12 goals.
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