Nuremberg finished in sixth last year, confounding their critics.
Nuremberg hail from Bavaria's second-largest city, and until 1987, they had won more German titles than any other club. But then came Bayern Munich, and "The Club," as Nuremberg are economically nicknamed, began yo-yoing between division one and division two.
To their credit, they always seem to bounce right back after being relegated. On the down side, the only mark they'd made prior to last year was finishing sixth and winning the German Cup in 2007.
Coming off another surprising sixth-place finish last year, The Club might be within its rights to expect a comfortable mid-table finish. Trouble is, Nuremberg had to replace the core of its side after three key players - Julian Schieber, Mehmet Ekici, Ilkay Gündogan - left in the offseason. Their departure leaves the team 15 goals and 20 assists poorer than last season, and coach Dieter Hecking may have a scramble on his hands to replace their production.
Fun fact: Nuremberg have a fan club in England that regularly travels to Germany to watch matches.
Author: Jefferson Chase
Editor: Matt Hermann