Goal-hungry and flying high

After a year-long stay in the 2. Bundesliga, SV Werder Bremen are back in the top flight – and flying high. With eight rounds played, the Northern Germans have the league's second-best attack and do not look like a typical promoted club at all. But the past few years mean Bremen's feet are firmly on the ground and they are first and foremost looking to establish themselves in the top tier. On Friday (kick-off 20:30 CET), the Hanseatic team will try to continue their positive form when they travel to the PreZero Arena to take on TSG Hoffenheim.

Almost exactly a year ago, the Green & Whites' prospects looked very different. Werder Bremen occupied 10th spot in the 2. Bundesliga table after eight rounds, with their meagre points tally of 11 and a negative goal difference causing furrowed brows on the Weser. Fast-forward to October 2022 and the frowns on the faces of club officials have been completely turned upside down by the recent success.

Because SV Werder Bremen are again in eighth place in the table – but this time in the tier above. Bremen have taken 12 points from the opening eight games. They have scored 18 goals in the process – second only to Bayern. The 5-1 victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend was particularly impressive, with Ole Werner's charges demonstrating how far they have come in footballing terms and that they can really cause headaches for supposedly superior opponents.

A key element has been the development of Bremen's strike partnership. Niclas Füllkrug and Marvin Ducksch fired their club to Bundesliga promotion and have again proven their killer instincts this season. Füllkrug has notched seven goals and is currently in contention for a call-up by the German national team for the upcoming World Cup. Ducksch has one goal to his name but has notched five assists as well. Former Hoffenheim player Leonardo Bittencourt is also enjoying a resurgence and has already scored two goals in five appearances.

But there is another man who has been integral to the current success: coach Ole Werner not only led Werder in a highly impressive promotion campaign (28 points from the first 10 games as Werder coach, only five defeats in 28 competitive games), but has reintroduced the classic brand of Werder football that has sometimes fallen by the wayside in recent years. Bremen want to continue on this path – and make sure there will be no repeat of their relegation.

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