VAVEL's 2. Bundesliga Team of the Week - Matchday 1: Hannover, Bochum and Braunschweig feature heavily after opening weekend wins

The first of 34 installments in VAVEL UK's weekly 2. Bundesliga Team of the Week.

VAVEL's 2. Bundesliga Team of the Week - Matchday 1: Hannover, Bochum and Braunschweig feature heavily after opening weekend wins
Image credit: VAVEL

The 2. Bundesliga returned with plenty of close contests - ironically, apart from the season opener - as fans got to grips with new players for the first time competitively.

There were impressive opening wins for VfL Bochum and, especially, Hannover 96. VfB Stuttgart ground out the result they needed against FC St. Pauli, too.

Eintracht Braunschweig, SpVgg Greuther Fürth and 1. FC Heidenheim also got off to winning starts, while the rest of the league were forced to settle for draws.

Goalkeeper and defence 

GK - Kevin Müller (1. FC Heidenheim/1) - The man tasked with replacing Jan Zimmermann was faced with keeping out newly-promoted Erzgebirge Aue on Sunday. Despite previously turning out for Heidenheim being undisputed first-choice is a different matter and Müller handled it very well. Cool, confident and able to keep Aue at bay when required, he started off the season how he will mean to go on.

RB - Phil Ofosu-Ayeh (Eintracht Braunschweig/1) - The Braunschweig right-back came in last term with the job of finally replacing Omar Elabdellaoui; it finally looks like he is relishing that opportunity. Ofosu-Ayeh was a constant threat going forward all game, making the most of his little defensive requirements. A super showing.

CB - Felix Bastians (VfL Bochum/1) - A new contract and now captain in Patrick Fabian's absence, Felix Bastians is a man who has everything going for him. On Saturday that got even better, as he scored the opener in Bochum's 2-1 win over Union. The goal against was an unfortunate one to concede, but not his fault. Immaculate as ever.

CB - Steve Breitkreuz (Erzgebirge Aue/1) - Despite tasting defeat on their return to the 2. Bundesliga, Steve Breitkreuz was more than capable in Aue's defence. He was solid from start to finish and his miserly style should bode well in the Violets' bid to beat the drop.

CB - Waldemar Anton (Hannover 96/1) - Big things are expected of young Anton and he certainly delivered on the opening weekend. The Hannover youngster, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, was calm and showed his worth at centre-back in a tough atmosphere on the Betzenberg. Clean sheet, solid performance; job done.

Hannover and Sobiech celebrate. | Image source: Hannover 96
Hannover and Sobiech celebrate. | Image source: Hannover 96

Midfield and attack

CM - Alexandru Maxim (VfB Stuttgart/1) - The difference maker. Many were surprised to see the Romanian play-maker left on the bench, but he came off the bench and looked like the Bundesliga player that he probably should be. The Swabians were lucky to hang onto him; his goal and all-round play were crucial to their win.

CM - Marco Stiepermann (VfL Bochum/1) - As far as debuts go, it couldn't have been much better from Marco Stiepermann's point of view. All that lacked was a goal, and he had his chances, but his link up play and dribbling were a class above and showed why Bochum paid so much for him.

RM - Salim Khelifi (Eintracht Braunschweig/1) - With the loss of Gerrit Holtmann, the pressure was on his partner-in-crime to perform this season. That's just what Khelifi did. The winger got what turned out to be the winning goal to get Braunschweig off to a winning start follow a tough week. No Gikiewicz, no Abdullahi? No problem.

AM - Robert Zulj (SpVgg Greuther Fürth/1) - The Austrian playmaker did his reputation no harm at all on Sunday afternoon with another well taken goal to beat 1860 Munich. Zulj showed his real with to Fürth last season and has seemingly continued goalscoring touch that, as well as his creative play, into this campaign.

LM - Kenan Karaman (Hannover 96/1) - Much like Stuttgart hanging on to Maxim, Bundesliga clubs were sniffing around Karaman during the summer. He added a further few euros onto any possible transfer fee after a menacing performance on the wing. Two assists were a fine way to start the season.

CF - Artur Sobiech (Hannover 96/1) - It wasn't a pretty performance at the Fritz-Walter Stadion but, like Karaman, Sobiech shone in Hannover's win. The Polish forward grabbed two goals on Friday evening. The first was nothing special but the second stunned everyone, as he curled home the final goal of the game. A fitting one at that.