It is Wiesnzeit in Munich, which means Oktoberfest and all the fun that entails. The footballing calendar has also given us a Munich derby to look forward to with SpVgg Unterhaching hosting local rivals 1860 Munich at the Alpenbauer Sportpark on Wednesday in a crunch 3.Liga clash.
As far as Bavarian derbies go it isn’t a Bayern v 1860 Munich, or a SpVgg Greuther Fürth v 1.FC Nürnberg, but fans of both the Haching and the Löwen will be eagerly anticipating their matchday 9 encounter.
It seems strange, but in the 93 years Unterhaching have been in existence (1860 are 65 years older) there have only been eleven competitive matches between the two clubs. There may only be a mere 7km separating the two clubs within the city of Munich, but their paths didn’t cross in either the league or the cup until they met in the Bundesliga in 1999!
1860, the oldest club in the city, have established a fierce rivalry with the now world renowned Bayern Munich, but their closest foes geographically are Unterhaching, whose compact stadium is just a ten minute drive south from their famous Grünwalder Stadion- a drive which skirts the Perlacher Forst.
There may not be a rich history between the two, but passions are certainly running high ahead of their clash, with 1860 revealing that they completely sold-out their 5700 allocation of tickets within an hour of them going on sale (capacity at the Sportpark is 15,052).
The story so far
1860 secured promotion to the third tier last season having suffered the ignominy of their relegation to the Regionalliga Bayern following their failure to obtain a licence for the 3.Liga after their drop from the second tier. Consolidation is the name of the game for Daniel Bierofka’s side. They have started the current campaign with three wins, three defeats and two draws. They did however lose at home to SV Wehen Wiesbaden at the weekend and will be looking for a response at Unterhaching.
SpVgg Unterhaching will also be looking for safety first having finished 9th last year in their first season back following two years in the Regionalliga. President Manfred Schwabl, who won three Bundesliga medals with Bayern, will want to see the good start his side his side have made continue. They’ve lost just once and go into the derby in second place, just one point behind leaders Uerdingen.
The fans’ view
Ahead of the matchday 9 clash we asked superfans Benjamin Schuldt (Unterhaching) and Sebastian Waltl (1860 Munich) from Löwenmagazin for their take on the Wiesnderby. Here’s what they had to say:
There are only 7km between the two clubs, but who do you see as your main rivals?
BS: Haching and 1860 have been rivals since their Bayern Liga time in the 1980’s. Because Bayern are so far ahead, fans of Haching and 1860 see each other as rivals. Other rivals for Haching are Jahn Regensburg and Wacker Burghausen, with whom the club played a lot in the Regionalliga Bayern.
SW: For me Unterhaching are not the main opponent this season- 1860 haven’t played against Haching for a long while. Aside from that Unterhaching don’t have a lot of fans, so there isn’t really a rivalry. For me the main opponents this season will be Kaiserslautern, Meppen and Braunschweig. On matchday 1 over 6000 1860 Munich fans made the trip away to Kaiserslautern.
How do you see this game going?
BS: Because it is the first derby in the league for 11 years, it’s a special game. Also both sides have made a good start to the season, so that it will probably be a top game. The Sportpark will be sold-out again for the first time in 10 years. That will provide a special atmosphere, as Haching usually play in front of less spectators.
SW: For me the match will be special, because there will probably be more fans from 1860 in the stadium than from Unterhaching. In that respect it will feel more like a home game for TSV 1860. Therefore it will be one of the highlights of the season.
How important is it to win the derby during the Oktoberfest?
BS: It would be an absolute high point from a Haching point of view to win this game. Particularly because Haching are a much smaller club compared to 1860 even if the past few years have been more successful than the neighbours.
SW: It is very important. If we lose there will be taunts from the Haching fans. Also the Bayern fans would probably laugh at us as they are more for Haching in this game. We’ve also had a number of defeats to Haching in the past with some quite high. We want to do better this time.
Which of your players should we look out for?
BS: The stars from Haching (top scorer Stephan Hain and playmaker Sascha Bigalke) are known, but the shooting-star at the moment is Luca Marseiler. The midfielder came from the youth, was injured for a long time, but has already scored four goals this season.
SW: I think you should watch out for Adriano Grimaldi. He arrived in the summer from Preußen Münster and has quickly become a fan favourite. He runs a lot and always fights until the last minute. Also this season he has already scored twice and provided six assists.
How do you rate your chances this season?
BS: The 3.Liga is very strong and promotion isn’t Haching’s goal, although if the team keep playing like they are, then it’s not impossible. Experience tells me that Haching seldom keep up this level and generally slip down the table after a good start.
SW: Promotion is not the goal this season. We have just come up from the fourth tier so don’t regard promotion as the target this year. However, 1860 have been very strong in recent games and if we continue playing well and have some luck, then perhaps promotion is possible. I personally think that 1860 will end up between fifth and seventh at the end of the season.
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