Werder Bremen only escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, and supporters will be hoping for much better in 2020-21. The Green-Whites were bottom of the table heading into the final weeks but managed to produce of one of the great escapes.
A final day 6-1 thrashing over FC Koln saw Werder Bremen finish third from bottom, and they went on to survive by beating FC Heidenheim on away goals in the relegation play-off. Whether they can survive the drop again is the big question ahead of the new campaign.
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Starting with the 2020-21 season, anyone in the US can watch every Werder Bremen 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 Werder Bremen 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.
Werder Bremen 2020-21 Preview
Florian Kohfeldt’s side have shown reasons for optimism in pre-season. Seven games have yielded seven wins which will help boost confidence ahead of the new campaign.
The club have also safely negotiated a potential banana skin in the first round of the DFB-Pokal Cup, seeing off fourth-tier side Carl Zeiss Jena 2-0 at the Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld.
Of course, there’s a huge difference between pre-season and the real thing but Werder Bremen also have plenty of promising youngsters in the squad which also bodes well for the future.
— The DFB-Pokal (@DFBPokal_EN) September 12, 2020
Tahith Chong has been brought in on loan from Manchester United and has already made an impact for the Bundesliga side. The 20-year-old winger scored on his debut for his new club and was also on target in the DFB-Pokal Cup win.
USMNT star Josh Sargant also netted in their season-opener and seems guaranteed regular football next season. Manager Kohfeldt told the Bundesliga’s official website the 20-year-old is one of the first names on his teamsheet.
“I can’t imagine a starting XI that doesn’t include Josh Sargent. For me, he’s in pole position for the opening weekend of the season. The combination of his strength, physicality, work off the ball, his improved tactical understanding and positional flexibility – it all speaks volumes for him as a player.
“He brings a lot to the table. He can play wide or as the central striker in a 4-3-3, and he can play as a second striker in a 4-4-2. He showed real progress during the end of last season. I just want to say: Josh is no longer the contender.”
The youngsters will learn a lot from experienced stars such as Davy Klaassen and Niklas Moisander, who has been confirmed as the club captain again for next season. The 34-year-old is heading into his final season with the club and will face serious competition for his place from youngster Marco Friedl.
It’s not clear how many games Moisander will play but Klaassen is also a leader on the pitch for Werder Bremen. The former Ajax captain has become a key player at the Bundesliga club after a tough time in the Premier League with Everton and is an influential presence in midfield.
Transfer Ins and Outs
The arrival of Chong is the club’s most eye-catching signing. Kohfeld has already spoken of his excitement about landing the young winger and discussed what he can bring to the team.
“He’s a very technically gifted player who can play on both wings. He’s also really fast, which will help our game. Defensively he has potential for development – he’s still only at the start of his career and we want to help him continue fulfilling his potential.”
The Green-Whites have also brought in 25-year-old Patrick Erras on a free transfer from second division side Nurnberg. Erras can play as a defensive midfielder or in a back three and should add solidity. The 6 ft 5 in midfielder will also be a threat at set-pieces given his height.
Yet Werder Bremen have lost Nuri Sahin, Fin Bartels, Sebastian Langkamp, and Philipp Bargfrede, following the expiration of their contracts, while Claudio Pizarro has retired.
There is also uncertainty regarding key man Milot Rashica. The 24-year-old has been in talks with RB Leipzig but is now wanted by Premier League side Aston Villa, according to Lyall Thomas at Sky Sports.
Manager: Florian Kohfeldt
Kohfeldt is in his fourth season in charge of Bremen and will be hoping to return his club to the top half of the table after last season’s awful campaign. The Green-Whites have finished as high as eighth under the 37-year-old but may struggle to get anywhere near that in 2020-21.
The Werder Bremen boss is keen for his side to improve and demanded better after their DFB-Pokal win over Carl Zeiss Jena on Saturday.
“We weren’t happy with the first half, we were too slow. We did much better in the second half. We’ll have to talk about our finishing, we have to be more clinical. You have to say that Jena really put up a fight. We never had the feeling that we could take our foot off the gas.
“We were perhaps a bit too nervous in the first half, because we wanted to try and score early. Overall, it wasn’t a very good game from us. In the end, we fully deserved the win, but it wasn’t the dominant performance we had hoped for.”
A good start to the season would give Werder Bremen a big boost, and the fixture list has been kind to Kohfeldt’s men. They kick-off with a home fixture against Hertha Berlin and follow that up with games against Schalke, Arminia Bielefeld, Freiburg, and Hoffenheim.
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