2. Bundesliga

Bundesliga 2 Team of the Season so far

The race for promotion is as intense as ever in Bundesliga 2, with several teams jostling for position near the top. But who as stood out alongside the league's top scorer Simon Terodde? We take a closer look...

Goalkeeper

Jannik Huth
Club: Paderborn
Age: 27

Only three teams have conceded fewer than Paderborn’s 10 goals so far this season, a fact that is largely down to the strength of Huth’s performances between the posts. The custodian hasn’t missed a minute of Bundesliga 2 action this term, and has made both the most saves (49) in the division as well as having the best save percentage (83.6). As such, Paderborn are well in the hunt for promotion and a return to the top flight.

Paderborn goalkeeper Jannik Huth (r.) has made more saves than anyone else in Bundesliga 2 this season. - Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Defence

Patrick Mainka
Club: Heidenheim
Age: 26
Position: Centre-back

Heidenheim are one of the sides with a better defence than Paderborn – the third best in the division, in fact. The south-west German club have only been breached nine times in as many games to date thanks to a rearguard superbly marshalled by captain Patrick Mainka. The 6’4” hulk is tough to get the better of – he’s won 91 duels and 36 aerial challenges in 2021/22 – and has also chipped in with a goal and an assist at the other end.

Jasper van der Werff

Club: Paderborn
Age: 22
Position: Centre-back

Another key component of Paderborn’s early season form is the brilliantly named Jasper van der Werff. Like Mainka, he’s a beast in the tackle (94 duels won), but his reading of the game is also second to none; the centre-back has made more interceptions (29) than anyone else in the division. Add into the mix that he’s comfortable in possession, with more successful passes (94 per cent) than anyone else, and it becomes clear why Paderborn have been flying.

Scott Kennedy

Club: Jahn Regensburg
Age: 24
Position: Centre-back

Calgary-born centre-back Scott Kennedy had a barnstorming debut season in Bundesliga 2 last term, and has seamlessly carried on where he left off in 2021/22. The 6’3” defender can do it all: he’s a tough tackler, enjoys getting forward (one goal from five shots) and is also among the division’s 20 fastest players, having clocked a top speed of 21.4 mph. No wonder Regensburg are in the top two…

Canada-born Scott Kennedy has been one of the pillars in defence for league leaders Regensburg. - SASCHA JANNE via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Sascha Janne

Midfield

Tom Krauß

Club: Nuremberg
Age: 20
Position: Defensive midfield

Acting as a defensive shield in this best XI is also the team’s youngest player: Tom Krauß. On loan at Nuremberg from RB Leipzig, the 20-year-old cites another Leipzig alumni – Joshua Kimmich – as his role model in the middle of the park. Krauß is doing his best to follow in the Bayern Munich man's footsteps and has been in the starting line-up for every Bundesliga 2 game this term, his terrier-like presence winning 100 duels – 18 per cent of them tackles. The league-low seven goals Nuremberg have let in this season is also in no small part thanks to him.

Benedikt Gimber

Club: Jahn Regensburg
Age: 24
Position: Defensive midfield

With 20 goals scored, just 10 conceded and sitting second in the Bundesliga 2 table, Regensburg must be doing something right. And by fielding Benedikt Gimber for the full 90 minutes in every game, they most certainly are. Providing a steely spine in midfield, Gimber does the dirty work to free up others going forward. He is the division’s most-fouled player (27 times), while he has also won more duels than anyone else (145): if you want to beat Regensburg, you need to figure out a way to get past their captain first.

Tom Krauß’s (c.) willingness to get stuck in has helped Nuremberg climb the table this season. - Sportfoto Zink / Daniel Marr via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Zink

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh

Club: St. Pauli
Age: 25
Position: Attacking midfield

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 Daniel-Kofi 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 six (Guido Burgstaller has been the chief beneficiary), all of which have come across his last six outings. Ever a threat going forward, he is one of the most trigger-happy players in Bundesliga 2 with 23 shots on goal, two of which have gone in.

Sarpreet Singh
Club: Regensburg
Age: 22
Position: Attacking midfield

Only loan from Bayern, 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 two goals and three assists to help his side occupy a place in the automatic promotion places.

Watch: Sarpreet Singh's 2021/22 highlights so far

Sven Michel
Club: Paderborn
Age: 31
Position: Attacking midfield

With the exception of Schalke and Terodde (more on him below), arguably no player is as important to their side as Michel is for Paderborn. Now in his sixth season at the club, the veteran midfielder is looking better than ever and has been directly involved in 55 per cent of his side’s 17 goals so far (eight scored, three assists); only Terodde has more direct goal contributions in 2021/22.

Forwards

Simon Terodde
Club: Schalke
Age: 33
Position: Striker

It is not difficult to decipher why Terodde has become known as “Mr. Bundesliga 2”. The veteran frontman leads the way in the scoring chart in 2021/22 with 11 goals already; combine that with his two assists and Schalke have only scored three times this season without his involvement. Terodde has only failed to hit the target in one game this term – but he did chip in with an assist in a 1-1 draw with Aue – and he is currently just one goal away from breaking the division’s all-time scoring record of 153.

Watch: Simon Terodde's goals this season (up to Matchday 6)

Guido Burgstaller
Club: St. Pauli
Age: 32
Position: Striker

St. Pauli forward Burgstaller isn't far behind, on seven goals and two assists. After bagging 11 in 22 league outings in his debut season at the club in 2020/21, the burly Austrian is at it again this time out, his Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League experience with Schalke proving too much for second-tier defences to handle. Kyereh has teed him up for five of his goals thus far, a partnership that could yet fire Pauli into the top flight.