The Bundesliga promotion chase is heating up heading into February. - © DFL
The Bundesliga promotion chase is heating up heading into February. - © DFL
bundesliga

Bundesliga 2 promotion race: St. Pauli lead Kiel with Hamburg and Hannover in pursuit

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St. Pauli's lead at the top of Bundesliga 2 is under threat, with Holstein Kiel breathing down their necks...

St. Pauli
Position:
1st
Points:
48
Games played: 23
Goals: 43-22 (+21)

Pauli were unbeaten in a record-equalling 25 Bundesliga 2 matches, before losing 1-0 in Magdeburg on Matchday 21. Fabian Hürzeler's team still have a lead at the top, though, one they extended by beating second-place Kiel 4-3 in Matchday 23's thriller. 

Watch: Holstein Kiel 3-4 St. Pauli - highlights

Holstein Kiel
Position:
2nd
Points: 42
Games played:
23
Goals:
44-32 (+12)

Kiel ended 2023 unbeaten in six games - winning five in a row - and top of the table, before slipping up at home to Eintracht Braunschweig on Matchday 18. The Storks returned to form and second-place over the course of the following weeks but gave up ground to Pauli when they were beaten by their promotion-rivals on Matchday 23.

Watch: Highlights of Kiel's 3-0 win over Hannover on Matchday 17

Hamburg
Position: 3rd
Points: 41
Games played: 23
Goals: 46-33 (+13)

Beaten by VfB Stuttgart in last season's promotion play-off, Hamburg are knocking at the top flight's door once more in 2023/24. HSV went unbeaten through their first five, before losing to promoted pair Elversberg and Osnabrück. Coach Tim Walter was subsequently replaced by Steffen Baumgart, who oversaw victory in his first game in charge on Matchday 23.

Watch: Hamburg 1-0 Elversberg - in 60 seconds!

Greuther Fürth
Position:
5th
Points:
38
Games played:
23
Goals:
36-29 (+7)

In 14th as late as Matchday 10, Fürth went up to third in a seven-game winning streak, only for a 3-2 defeat at St. Pauli to set them back a little. They are now fifth, but still within reach of the promotion play-off berth.

Watch: Fürth beat Paderborn Matchday 18

Hannover
Position:
5th
Points:
37
Games played:
23
Goals:
43-31 (+12)

A five-game unbeaten run, including four straight wins heading, propelled Hannover to within touching distance of the promotion places. However, a surprise 1-0 loss at bottom side Osnabrück on Matchday 23 meant they missed the chance to climb into the play-off spot, overnight at least.

Watch: Hannover won a seven-goal thriller in Hamburg

Paderborn
Position: 6th
Points:
37
Games played:
23
Goals:
36-38 (-2)

Paderborn lost 4-0 in Kiel on Matchday 22, but returned to winning ways in Wiesbaden. They're now just a point behind Hamburg in the promotion play-off spot, with games against Pauli, HSV and Hannover among their remaining 11 fixtures.

Paderborn are in the hunt for a third promotion to the Bundesliga in 10 years. - IMAGO/Andreas Volz

The chasing pack

7th: Fortuna Düsseldorf (P23, 36pts, GD +16)
8th: Hertha Berlin (P23, 33pts, GD +6)