Essen finished strong in 5th place last year – result of the good work of Coach Markus Högner. He continues building his program according to his ideals and does not bring in a single Bundesliga experienced player. The roster nearly stays the same. Only two quality players will have to be replaced. Despite having NT experienced Lisa Weiss back in goal they will miss Ursula Holl who maybe played the best season of her career in the final season. The danger for Essen is that in the offense nearly everything runs over veteran Melanie Hoffmann, who turns 38 this fall. Should she miss time they are running on an extremely narrow offense line.
Losses: Ursula Holl (retired), Jessica Bade (SC Bad Neuenahr)
Prediction: Essen played above their level in the past season and will get back to normal. The roster is not above average but the good coaching level compensates it to a certain degree. A secure midfield position will be the consequence.
FC Bayern München
Part one of the last season was a nightmare for Munich, while season part two became a dream with the win of the cup competition as highlight – Bayern Munich surely set the right course in winter by adding Niki Cross and Sarah Hagen. Only Gina Lewandowski comes in new now, while two quality players leave. Coach Thomas Wörle seems to have the team on track in the meantime, he added athleticism and experience to the roster, which was what the team needed.
Prediction: Bayern is tough to play for every team but they don’t yet have the quality to constantly win against all teams. Under the bottom line Munich should finish fourth and be able to create a gap to the following teams.