NEWS // MatchesBack
St. Pauli seek to „dock safely“
Focus on the ‘Kiezkicker‘
Five months have passed since the Löwen and FC St. Pauli last locked heads. In spite of putting in a good performance in EINTRACHT-STADION, the Blau-Gelben found themselves on the receiving end of a 0-2 defeat. On Saturday at 13:00 CET, Eintracht will have their chance to reap revenge at Millerntor.
On the Hamburg side’s bench, Markus Kauczinski will be joined by a different figure to the one that took that place back on October 1st, 2017. At the beginning of December, following a run of seven games without a win, Pauli parted company with Olaf Janßen. The 51 year old had been co-trainer to Ewald Lienen since November 2016 and took over as head-coach of the ‚ Kiezkicker‘ at the beginning of the current season. Kauczinski, who was in the Bundesliga with FC Ingolstadt last season, guided his new side to four points in his first two games and St. Pauli duly went into the winter-break as the tenth placed side in the table.
Extremely tight league
„It’s all about making sure we dock safely,“ explained Kauczinski during the week. The fact that being in tenth place in the ‚2. Bundesliga‘ is far from a position of safety, is a result of an extremely tight situation in the table: fourth spot (37) and 15th (30), are separated by a mere seven points. St. Pauli, on 34 points, and the Löwen (32) are right in the middle of that zone! A brief look at the standings in the table at this stage of last season makes it clear how unusual the current state of affairs is: Then, the gap between fourth and 15th place after 25 games was some 21 points! No wonder Kauczinski has his doubts: „As to whether 40 points will be enough in the end this time around remains to be seen.” One thing is clear – the winner in Millerntor this Saturday will end the match-day ahead of their immediate opponent.
Ten points since the turn of the year
There is certainly room for improvement in the FC St. Pauli offensive: The ‚Kiezkicker‘ have scored just 27 goals this season – only Erzgebirge Aue and VfL Bochum have hit the target less frequently. The Hamburg club’s top-scorer is Sami Allagui. The 31 year old, who moved from Hertha BSC to the banks of the Elbe before the season began, has scored four goals and provided three assists. The club then also had some bad news to deal with at the beginning of the week: Waldemar Sobota, who is also on four goals thus far, suffered a heel injury during the clash with Düsseldorf and will be unavailable for several weeks.
The fact that the fans should be prepared for a closely fought-out tie this weekend could probably be ascertained from the recent results of both sides: Since the turn of the year, St. Pauli and the Löwen have an identical haul – three wins, three defeats and one draw in 2018.
Photo: Agentur Hübner