Preview: Monday’s St. Pauli – Greuther Fürth Matchup

After a dreadful start to the league campaign, FC St. Pauli has started to collect the always so important points. The Hamburg-club ended the autumn by defeating VfR Aalen, and began the Rückrunde by drawing away to SV Sandhausen. Monday’s task is to add an eighth loss to Greuther Fürth’s season, and thus climb above the relegation zone. However, that mission might be hard to achieve: St. Pauli is without a victory in the last nine home games against Fürth, and currently six points shy of the Kleeblätter.
Head coach Ewald Lienen says ahead of the encounter that Fürth has a couple of players to look out for, especially at set plays.

Fürth has recently played with various systems. They have experienced second division players who can play really well.  Due to the size of some players they are dangerous from set pieces. But no matter who is on the field, we will try to prepare ourselves for it.

St. Pauli will have to make do without the services of Bernd Nehrig, Markus Thorandt, Christopher Buchtmann and Micheal Görlitz due to different injuries. Moreover, Julian Koch had to end training on Friday early due to muscular problems and looks set to miss out on the encounter.

“We will not take any chances,” Lienen said when talking about his 24-year-old midfielder.

Winter recruit Waldemar Sobota debuted, together with Koch, in Sandhausen last weekend and came close to scoring early on. The 27-year-old found space just outside the penalty area, but wasn’t able to find the net. The midfielder will now try to score his first goal as a St. Pauli player at the famous Millerntor Stadion, where another winter recruit, Armando Cooper, is expected to make his debut.

Both Fürth and St. Pauli have failed to live up to expectations. The Bavarian club was expected to be competing in the upper half of the 2. Bundesliga ahead of the first match day, but are currently only six points above the foot of the table. Fürth is in a run of eight winless matches, and their last victory came away to Union Berlin on October 31.

The bad run has led to the club being involved in the relegation battle, a fact that head coach Frank Kramer stressed while talking to journalists ahead of today’s encounter. He now calls on the fans to get behind the team, and help Fürth turn their fortunes around.  He told the club’s official website….

A relegation battle is ahead so the main point should now be clear to everyone.  If the fans supports us it will help the team. A fight can only be won together and we have to pull together closely

According to Transfermarkt, former St. Pauli player Florian Mohr suffered a torn collateral ligament last month, and therefore looks set to miss out on the encounter along with goalkeeper Tom Mickel. On a little more positive note, winter recruit Ronny Philip might make his Fürth debut in Hamburg today.

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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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