BERLIN (AP) A look at Fortuna Dusseldorf and Nurnberg, the promoted teams preparing for their return to the Bundesliga this weekend.
Dusseldorf hosts Augsburg and Nurnberg visits Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
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Dusseldorf is back as second-division champion after beating Nurnberg 3-2 on the final day of last season.
Experienced coach Friedhelm Funkel stabilized the side after arriving in March 2016 and led the club to a sixth promotion in his second season.
Founded in 1895, Dusseldorf last played in the Bundesliga in 2013. The club’s fortunes have been mixed since it won the German championship in 1933. Its best days came with German Cup wins in 1979 and 1980. Of all the sides in the Bundesliga, only Hertha (1892) and Stuttgart (1893) have been around longer.
Rouwen Hennings finished as the team’s leading scorer last season with 13 goals in 33 appearances. The club has not made any big signings, but forward Dodi Lukebakio has arrived on loan from Watford, striker Marvin Ducksch was signed from Holstein Kiel and midfielder Matthias Zimmermann from Stuttgart.
Eight-time German champion Nurnberg is back in the Bundesliga after a four-year absence.
Michael Koellner is enjoying his first coaching role after being promoted from Nurnberg’s reserve side in May 2017. A qualified dental assistant, the 48-year-old Koellner worked for 15 years with the German soccer federation before turning to coaching. He also co-write a book, “Your way to becoming a football professional,” for young players, parents and coaches.
Nurnberg captain Hanno Behrens is the team’s driving force, chipping in 14 goals last season from midfield. Swedish striker Mikael Ishak added another 12 for a team that finished with 12 different scorers.
Added to the mix for this season is Japanese striker Yuya Kubo, signed on loan from Belgian side Gent.