The German Bundesliga starts on August 5, and heinnews is providing extensive coverage in the buildup to the 2011-12 season with a club preview each day. Today is Werder Bremen.

It has been rare in recent memory that Werder Bremen have not played internationally. But the Green-Whites were shattered by injuries all year in 2010-11 and Thomas Schaaf’s team is once again starting this season with a number of banged up players. Regardless, the goal is clear: play for the title and at least the European ranks.

Bremen can concentrate this season solely on the Bundesliga and the German Cup and Werder would be considered a darkhorse contender if not for more injuries this season.

Brazilian centre back Naldo is still not yet fit, Per Mertesacker is out injured as are Sebastian Boenisch and Sebastian Prödl – and that’s just the backline.

Wesley and Tim Borowski both missed a lot of time last season in the midfield while Claudio Pizarro battled injuries on and off the entire campaign.

Schaaf and manager Klaus Allofs have been forced to entirely revamp the Bremen defense, bringing in Andreas Wolf, Lukas Schmitz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos to go along with Clemens Fritz. Once the injured players return, Schaaf will have too many choices for four slots. But the coach will be thrilled when that’s the case and will tackle that when it finaly happens.

Another reason for Bremen’s tough season last year was the departure of midfield maestro Mesut Özil just before the start of the season. Also Aaron Hunt was just a shadow of the player that was nominated for the German national team.

Schaaf has responded by bringing in star midfield ace Mehmet Ekici from Nuremberg as well brothers Aleksandar and Predrag Stevanovic. Brazilian all-arounder Wesley will be back healthy this season to team with Marko Marin, Hunt and Tim Borowski.

The Green-Whites also have some superb young talent to slowly incorporate into the professional team in Felix Kroos, Florian Trinks, and Tom Trybull.

As usual for Werder, there is plenty of talent in the attack for the Bremen up-tempo style of play. Swedish international Markus Rosenberg returns and his presence should help young Swedish Denni Avdic get even better integrated to Bremen. Marko Arnautovic hopes to prove to everyone that he is a star while Claudio Pizarro is still battling injuries. In addition, Sandro Wagner showed some of his promise late last season while Lennart Thy is an emerging talent.

The Green-Whites will have a new captain as Torsten Frings has left of the MLS in Canada while Petri Pasanen are also let the club after a long time in Bremen.

Schaaf will undoubtedly have the attack to score goals. The main issue will be to prevent opposing goals.




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