Photo: DPA

TSV 1860 Munich’s preseason form took a welcome boost after a draw and a win against two Bundesliga opponents. On Wednesday, 1860 drew 1-1 with SV Werder Bremen before defeating UEFA Champions League qualifiers Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-1.

An indifferent preseason has finished strongly for Sechzig. Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Bremen could have been even sweeter had Bobby Wood’s injury time effort not hit the post. Bremen took the lead after Aaron Hunt converted a softly awarded penalty with 17 minutes left in the game, but a free kick from starlet Stefan Wannenwetsch drew Schmidt’s men level with six minutes left.

New kit, new season? Photo: DPA
New kit, new season? Photo: DPA

Against Leverkusen three days later, things couldn’t have gone more to plan for 1860. Even after an early Mortiz Stoppelkamp goal was cancelled out by Leverkusen’s new signing Heung-Min Son, substitute midfielder Andreas Geipl smashed home a winner from the corner of the area to win the game for 1860. Leverkusen were wasteful in front of goal but it was a win “not to be overestimated” according to manager Alexander Schmidt in his post-match interview.

This has been the perfect preparation for TSV 1860 Munich ahead of next Friday’s league opener away against St. Pauli (20:30 CET). Schmidt is expected to have a full squad to choose from with only Daniel Bierofka a doubt. A foot injury kept the midfielder out of the friendly on the weekend as he looks to be fit in time for the curtain raiser next week.

Key observations:

–       With Daniel Halfar gone, it seems that new signing Yannick Stark will take up the defensive midfield role alongside regular Dominik Stahl. The former FSV Frankfurt midfielder has impressed so far and will be keen to make Halfar’s absence go unnoticed.

–       Other new signings Daniel Adlung, a left winger from Energie Cottbus, and striker Stephan Hain (from Augsburg) have also been starters in preseason. Adlung will be looking to provide more consistent service for the likes of Rob Friend and “Benny” Lauth. Hain, on the other hand, is more of a ball-playing striker than Friend and so gives 1860 variety up front.

–       Schmidt’s quote post game about “not overestimating” the result is important. Last season, the expectations on 1860 were far too high, too soon and the club responded with inconsistency. Keeping the team’s feet on the ground, even in the light of such a big preseason scalp, is pivotal for Schmit and his team going into what they hope will be a successful season.