LINE: FC Heidenheim +270 | Draw +225 | Werder Bremen +106
KICK OFF: Monday, 6th July, 2:30PM EST
The 1st Leg was a cagey 90 minutes as FC Heidenheim (FCH) lined up with a surprise back 3. FCH sat deep & frustrated Werder Bremen (SVW) who dominated possession recording 75% in the 1st half & 67% overall. SVW were the only team to register any attempts on target, managing just 2 & their frustration boiled over in the 87th minute when captain Niklas Moisander received his second yellow for a late slide tackle. On loan Kevin Vogt should come in for the suspended skipper.
FCH almost grabbed a late winner when Timo Beerman rose highest in the box, but he steered his header just wide of Pavlenka’s post. Their manager Frank Schmidt is the longest serving across the two divisions & he was confident in the post-match press conference stating “We can beat anyone at home”.
This will be Claudio Pizarro’s last ever game as he is set to retire. The 41 year old is a true Bundesliga legend with 197 goals, 76 assists & 490 appearances across stints at SVW, Bayern Munich & FC Köln. It would be a true Hollywood ending with the Peruvian coming off the bench for one last piece of magic to keep SVW in the Bundesliga.
Frank Schmidt will again instruct his side to keep the game tight, frustrate, make the most of set-pieces & try to get to half-time without conceding. FCH will open up in the second half & try to grab a winner.
SVW have the advantage of away goals. As long as they score & don’t lose in 90 minutes they’ll be playing Bundesliga football next year. The first leg showed they are the better side & the Voith-Arena will be less intimidating with the stands empty. SVW will find a way to win this game like they did on the last day of the season. I’m hoping it involves Pizarro.
Prediction – Back Werder Bremen on the Money Line +106
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