FC St Pauli – SpVgg Greuther Fürth preview

The fight against the relegation continues at Millerntor with St Pauli receiving Fürth. The duel can be summarized as the worst home attack (16 goals) versus the worst away attack (10 goals). The hosts sit on the 16th place (playoff spot), while the guests are one place and one point up in the table.

Kauczinski simply cannot find the right formula at St Pauli, alternating from one to two strikers, from 4 to 3/5 defensive chain, nothing seems to work. The results are poor, 3 defeats in a row, while the last win was recorded 2 months ago. St Pauli is in a must win situation and will probably play in an offensive 4-4-2 system, with Buchtmann enjoying a lot of freedom to roam in attack. Unfortunately for the hosts, their playmaker is completely out of form after several injuries and struggles to dictate the tempo of the attacks. His defensive work is rather poor and the guests can benefit from this. Two offensive weapons, Allagui and Cenk Sahin, are both suspended after seeing the red card last round, limiting the coach’s options up front. Sobota is back after injury and could make it into the squad, but he probably lacks match fitness and match rythm. The available strikers are out of form: Bouhaddouz (4 goals), Schneider (2 goals), Diamantakos (2 goals, both in Bochum’s shirt).

It will be interesting to see how the hosts will behave defensively, as the guests will have a 3v2 advantage in midfield. If one of the strikers fail to drop in midfield to balance that area and Buchtmann will not provide a solid defensive work, St Pauli will have big problems. There are also good news from the defensive point of view, as captain Nehrig and Dudziak are again available. Sobiech is also an option, but it’s not sure if Kauczinski will use him from the first minute, as he is leaving the club at the end of the season.

Fürth is not saved yet and must stay focused. Damir Buric is confident that his team can put on a good performance, although there are some question marks regarding the defensive line. There are small chances that Magyar and Maloca will not be fit until kickoff, which means Gugganig will drop in line with Caligiuri. Aycicek, also questionable for this match, will probably make way for Green, who is back after suspension. On the wings Narey and Ernst seem set, although Raum puts pressure on them. Buric is expected to send his team in a 4-1-4-1 system, which will provide a 3v2 midfield advantage. This should help to keep St Pauli away from their goal and provide good passing options when starting the attacks.

Fürth will probably adopt a cautious strategy, defensive, without risks, but with lighting fast transition after winning the ball. Their problems in attack are mainly the lack of composure, as they sometimes need too many clear cut chances to score goals. If they manage to fix this issue, they have a good chance to kidnap all points from this away game, against a confused opponent.

Missing players
FC St Pauli: Hornschuh, Zander, Schoppenhauer (injured), Flum (questionable), Allagui, Cenk Sahin (suspended)
SpVgg Greuther Fürth: Bolly (injured), Magyar, Bech, Maloca, Aycicek (questionable)

Possible lineups and team shapes

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Serban Ciulei

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