Arminia Bielefeld are back in the big time in 2020-21 after winning the 2. Bundesliga title by 10 points last season. It’s been 11 years since Die Arminen last played in Germany’s top flight, but coach Uwe Neuhaus secured promotion in his first full season in charge and will now be focused on survival.
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Starting with the 2020-21 season, anyone in the US can watch every Arminia Bielefeld game live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ will have live coverage of every Bundesliga match in 20-21, as well as DFL Supercup, Bundesliga 2, Serie A, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, MLS and other live sports. It also includes every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch every Arminia Bielefeld match live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Arminia Bielefeld 2020-21 Preview
The Bundesliga newcomers have had a rollercoaster ride since the last time they were in the top flight. Die Arminen have dropped into the third tier of German football twice over the last decade and even flirted with bankruptcy.
2009: Relegated from the Bundesliga
2011: Relegated to the 3. Liga
2013: Promoted to the 2. Bundesliga
2014: Relegated to the 3. Liga
2015: Promoted to the 2. Bundesliga
2017: On the brink of bankruptcy
2020: Back in the Bundesliga!
— DW Sports (@dw_sports) June 28, 2020
The Blues will be favorites to go straight back down again this season but have certainly shown under Neuhaus they have the team spirit and desire to prove the doubters wrong.
Arminia Bielefeld impressed by finishing last season way ahead of more-fancied sides such as Stuttgart and Hamburg. They were the league’s top scorers and also had the meanest defense, conceding just 30 goals in 34 matches.
Indeed their centre-back pairing of Joakim Nilsson and Amos Pieper will have their work cut out when they come up against some of Europe’s top strikers next season in the shape of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Dortmund starlet Erling Braut Haaland.
Neuhaus will be aware that his team face a far tougher challenge this season and are lacking in top-flight experience. Yet his team surpassed expectations to win the title and will be aiming to do the same this time around.
There’s no doubt that captain Fabian Klos will again play a key role for Die Arminen in what will be the 32-year-old’s first season in the Bundesliga. The striker was the top scorer in Bundesliga 2. last season with 21 goals, and the team will need his firepower if they are to survive.
Indeed it would be no surprise if the skipper did catch the eye in 2020-21. He’s in his 10th season with Die Arminen, has scored a total of 152 goals in 327 games, and is already assured of club legend status.
Klos told the Bundesliga about just how much the players and the whole city are looking forward to playing at the top level of German football once again.
“Especially after treading water mid-table and even dropping down to the third division you just notice how much the city and the whole region have been waiting for this.
“And always with that kind of conviction that Arminia Bielefeld are a club that can compete in the Bundesliga again. [We’re] really looking forward to it already, the closer we get to the start the more than’s going to ramp up. We’re all desperate to get going in the Bundesliga.”
Hard-working Andreas Voglsammer is also likely to be a threat in attack. The 28-year-old winger netted 13 times in all competitions last season despite missing a chunk of the campaign with a fractured metatarsal.
Transfers Ins and Outs
Arminia Bielefeld have been busy in the transfer market as they look to strengthen a squad lacking in Bundesliga experience. Forward Sergio Cordova has arrived on loan from Augsburg and has plenty to prove. He managed just two goals in 16 appearances last season in the Bundesliga.
Japanese talent Ritsu Doan has also been snapped up on loan from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. The 22-year-old can play on either flank or as an attacking midfielder and will be hoping to make an impact in his first season in Germany.
— Ritsu Doan/堂安 律 (@doan_ritsu) September 5, 2020
Neuhaus has also signed center-back Mike van der Hoorn from Swansea City, 1860 Munich winger Noel Niemann and left-back Jacob Barrett Laursen from Danish side Odense.
Nathan de Medina, Christian Gebauer, and Philipp Klewin have also come in, while Can Özcan and Nikolai Rehnen have returned after spending last season away from the club and out on loan.
Manager: Uwe Neuhaus
Neuhaus is an experienced coach who has taken the club from flirting with relegation in 2. Bundesliga to the top flight during his 18 months in charge. He’s won 28 of his 52 games in charge, tasting defeat just six times along the way. The coach also set a new league record of seven straight away wins last season.
The coach showed his tactical flexibility last season on the way to promotion. A new challenge awaits in the Bundesliga, although the 60-year-old told SportBild he thinks his team have a “good chance” of staying up.
Neuhaus has also insisted he will remain true to his principles in the top flight and has urged his players to continue to trust in his methods if they are to enjoy a successful season.
“It is important to me that we remain true to ourselves. We want to keep our style of play, we want to have a lot of possession in the Bundesliga, which also results from our early attack.
“The most important thing is to give everyone the feeling that they belong to the group. That will be even more important next season, when we will certainly suffer more defeats. The team must continue to trust me. My relationship with the team is really good, we already have a lot of trust in one another.”
Neuhaus will hope his side can take the momentum from their title win into the new season and, unlike many sides in the Bundesliga, Arminia Bielefeld will not have to cope with high expectations which should work in their favor.
The team defied the odds last season by winning the league but will need to do the same again if they are to keep their place in the top flight.
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