First meeting with Braunschweig

There's always a first time. That is the case for the meeting between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Eintracht Braunschweig. The two sides will meet in a competitive match for the first time this Saturday, December 21st at 15:30 CET. A good enough reason to take a closer look at Eintracht...

There's one name in particular attached to Braunschweig's ascent from the third tier to the Bundesliga - Torsten Lieberknecht. The manager has been with Eintracht for the last ten years. First, he was at the club for five years as a player, before spending another five as the boss. Lieberknecht is a hard worker, and not one that gets caught up in the fantasy, but rather faces up to the reality. It's no surprise then, that he himself has said Braunschweig surviving in the Bundesliga this season would be a "miracle".

Braunschweig are currently playing in their first top-flight campaign since 1984/85, following last season's surprise promotion - an entire town was caught up in the Bundesliga fever. However, things have taken on a more sobering look with Eintracht currently bottom of the table with eight points after 16 matchdays.

Not a forgone conclusion

But Braunschweig have shown that they can meet the Bundesliga standard - a win in Wolfsburg and a home victory over Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen are evidence of that. Lieberknecht's men also put up a decent fight against the league's two heavyweights, Bayern (2-0 loss) and Dortmund (2-1 defeat). Good organisation has been the cornerstone.

So the final match in the first half of the season will be anything but a forgone conclusion. Lieberknecht will rally his team to push for a win to take into the winter break and the fans in Braunschweig will be behind their team no matter what. Beck, Salihovic, Volland & Co. will be expecting a tricky encounter in the Eintracht Stadion.

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