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Thursday 10/12/2017

Zebras seek stability

Focus on MSV Duisburg

Anyone looking to describe MSV Duisburg, need basically only take a look at the statistics from the away defeat to Fortuna Düsseldorf: more possession, more chances on goal, the more determined fight and, in footballing terms, every bit as good as the league leaders. But in the end, MSV returned home empty-handed. Wasted opportunities and weaknesses at the back are currently the core problems for MSV Duisburg.

The ‚Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena‘ has not proven all that great a stronghold for Duisburg thus far, with the newly promoted side are still awaiting their first home victory of the season – on the back of one draw and three defeats. Those losses also included a hefty 1-6 thrashing by 1. FC Nürnberg. The result was emphatic – the game however was not! The ‚Meidericher‘ shot on the opposition goal 25 times throughout the game, but only landed the ball in the back of the net once. And there was a similar tally from the away game in Dusseldorf, where MSV unleashed some 29 shots on the host’s goal, but the end result was a resounding 1-3 from the Duisburg viewpoint.

Target-man Stoppelkamp

Those were indeed not the only examples of games this season in which Duisburg had the better of the chances on goal, but failed to make them count. New signing Moritz Stoppelkamp ist he club’s top-scorer on five goals, followed by Boris Tashchy  (4). Aside from those two though, there have been no reliable goal-getters within the team, including former Eintracht front-man Kingsley Onuegbu. The beefy attacker, who netted eleven times during the promotion season, has only hit the target once this season. Up front MSV lack the necessary coolness, whilst they have also proven susceptible in the defence. Goalkeeper Mark Flekken has found himself fishing the ball out of his net 19 times already this season – the highest number of goals conceded in the second-flight. No wonder trainer Ilia Gruev had been looking to make use of the international break to work on shoring up his defence.

Top priority: Survival!

As a newly promoted side, the ‚Meidericher‘ are focused merely on maintaining their second-flight status. And right now, they have achieved just that. Thanks to a better goal-difference than 1. FC Heidenheim, MSV are currently in 15th place in the table. Those in charge at the club have maintained their fate in the promotion winning squad, with few recognisable departures. In Stoppelkamp, Tashchy and Lukas Fröde, the club have also signed quality. Daniel Davari should also be familiar to the Löwen fans. The goalkeeper is currently second choice between the posts for MSV.

Photo: Getty Images

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