Preview: Monday’s Fortuna Düsseldorf-FC St. Pauli Clash

Fortuna Düsseldorf is looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games when they host FC St. Pauli at the Esprit Arena on Monday. The hosts are currently fourth in the zweite Bundesliga, even though they experienced a slow start to the season. Oliver Reck’s side began the campaign by drawing against Eintracht Braunschweig and Union Berlin, before they lost at home to Karlsruher. Since then, however, the club has not lost a single match, and only drawn on two occasions.

“We want to improve our home record,” Reck told his club’s official website ahead of the game. “We are enjoying a great atmosphere in our home games. We would of course like to be as convincing as in our last away games.”

Reck says his side has taken good use of the last few weeks, during which no league football have taken place due to the international break.

“We used the two weeks very practically with good workouts and two exhibition games,” the coach says.
Mathis Bolly and Andreas Lambertz both look set to miss out on the encounter due to injuries, and there is also a question marking hanging over Jonathan Tah’s eventual participation, Fortuna confirms on their website.

St. Pauli looking to turn season around under new head coach

If Düsseldorf’s start to the 2. Bundesliga-season was a slow one, then FC St. Pauli’s start to the 2014/2014 campaign has to be described as nothing else but terrible. The Hamburg-side won for the first time of the campaign when they hosted SV Sandhausen on the third match day. However, the following three matches all ended with painful losses, and head coach Roland Vrabec was consequently sacked.

St. Pauli replaced the 40-year-old with Thomas Meggle, and under his leadership St. Pauli has won two of its last three games, and drawn the other one.  Meggle, 39, was a long-time midfielder at St. Pauli, and has coached at the club as both an assistant and head of the reserve side.

“We have a good team that we will send to the match on Sunday. A team that gives 100 percent of its best,” Meggle said during the pre-match press conference.

Statistically St. Pauli has the upper hand on Fortuna. The Buccaneers of the League have not lost at Esprit Arena since 2010, and last year’s meeting at the venue ended with a 2-0 win for the visitors.  St. Pauli has lost to Düsseldorf on only three occasions in second division play, and eight of the meetings have ended with three points to the brown and white-side. On five occasions the two clubs clashes has ended with a draw, one of which being last season’s meeting at the Millerntor-Stadion in Hamburg.

However, St. Pauli is a bit weaker than usual ahead of the clash Monday due to the many injuries Meggle has to take into consideration. According to the club’s official website, Tom Trybull, Sebastian Schachten, Marcel Halstenberg, Christopher Buchtmann, Jan-Philipp Kalla and Markus Thorandt will all miss out on the encounter. On a positive note, both team-captain Sören Gonther and former Greuther Fürth defender Bernd Nehrig will travel with the team to Düsseldorf, and the injury list is nothing Meggle worries too much about.

“I do not see any problems with our squad,” the head coach says.

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Linus Vedmar

Linus is a 20-year-old Swede who follows all Bundesliga clubs but have a soft spot for FC St. Pauli. You can follow Linus on Twitter @LinusVedmar.

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