1. FC Nürnberg – MSV Duisburg preview

Alarm in Nurnberg’s attack – top scorer Ishak (12 goals) is injured for at least 8 weeks and there is no 1:1 replacement in the squad. Kollner is not worried, emphasizes he has several options. He declared himself satisfied with the team’s possession game in Hamburg, so there are good chances to see the same system (4-diamond-2). Although he didn’t share it with the media, he was unhappy with the lack of penetration power and unfocused defending of set pieces. The attacking duo, probably Palacios and Werner (none with strong heading skills), must work the channels much better and the through balls should be better synchronized, otherwise all that possession will be in vain. We expect a lot of movement from Behrens and Mohwald trying to dictate the tempo. Lowen, if played again in the hole, must increase his performance if he is to successfully link the midfield with the attack. The wing backs, Valentini and Leibold, will run down the flanks to stretch the play. They will be in 1v2 situations on the flanks, so they might cut inside, as there will be no massive striker to fight for crosses into the box.

Ilia Gruev will probably adopt a similar tactics as St Pauli against Nurnberg. Give the ball to The Club and try lightning fast counters after regaining possession. It will be interesting to see what defensive tactics Duisburg applies, as they seem outnumbered in midfield. The wingers, Stoppelkamp and Engin, will be very busy with defensive duties, overloading the area in front of their own penalty area, so the hosts’ attacks cannot get through. When Duisburg wins the ball back it will be extremely dangerous. Stoppelkamp, Engin and Iljutcenko are fast paced counter attack players, capable to run into space, while Tashchy can handle the target man role and protect the ball until a colleague with better pace is available to pass to.

It will be exciting to see whether Nurnberg has the resources to play efficient tiki taka and dangerously enter the penalty box, or Duisburg has the skills to defend and exploit the acres of space left behind by the hosts. The set pieces will beinteresting to follow, as dead balls can be the decisive factor:

Team Number of matches Scoring chances from set pieces Goals scored from set pieces Scoring chances conceded from set pieces Goals conceded from set pieces
Nurnberg 22 20 9 27 7
Duisburg 22 38 9 17 8

Missing players
FC Nurnberg: Kerk, Ishak (injured)
MSV Duisburg: Wiegel, Bomheuer (injured), Hajri (suspended)

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