Manuel Veth –
1860 Munich vs Rostock – Sunday, March 3, 12:00GMT/13:00CET – Grünwalder Stadion, Munich, Germany
It has been two great matchdays in a row for 1860 Munich. Almost two weeks ago on Monday, Feb. 18, 1860 Munich collected three points against Aalen and followed that 2-1 win up with a 2-1 victory on the road against Energie Cottbus.
Those two results have catapulted 1860 away from the relegation zone. In fact, with 34 points the Lions are now eight points clear off the dropzone. Furthermore, the Lions are now in an excellent position to establish themselves in the top half of the table and with a win on Sunday against Hansa Rostock could even cut the gap to a promotion/relegation playoff spot to just five points.
Getting involved in the promotion race seems unlikely, even if the club has handed in the necessary documents to the DFL for Bundesliga 2. Eight points, after all, is a big gap but at the same time the clubs above 1860 are mostly playing each other, and with 13 outstanding games a lot can still happen in the league.
1860’s squad is slowly but surely returning to full strength with injured players like Markus Ziereis complementing the squad. Furthermore, with Prince Owusu the Lions have a striker that seems to perfectly complement Sascha Mölders and, finally, head coach Daniel Bierofka will be able to fully focus on his squad after completing all the tests required for his coaching licence.
All of the above give ground to optimism. But that optimism will be worthless should the Lions fail to collect three points against Hansa Rostock at home at the Grünwalder Stadion.
Not only are Hansa Rostock the last champion of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) but they are also a side, that similar to 1860, has a significant Bundesliga past. Founded as Empor Rostock in 1965 Hansa Rostock were a member of the Bundesliga between 1990 and 1992 as well as 1995 to 2005. The club managed one last promotion to the Bundesliga in 2007 but was right away relegated.
Following the club’s final relegation from the Bundesliga in 2008, however, Hansa Rostock struggled financially due to the stadium project and also the expensive youth academy. In 2010 Rostock were relegated to Liga 3 and despite going straight back up failed to establish themselves and have been a constant member of the third division ever since 2012.
There Hansa have been mostly a mid-table team trying to overcome the financial burdens of the past. This year has been no different with the club having collected 33 points from 25 games Hansa are just one point behind the Lions. Far removed from both relegation and promotion Rostock want to use this season as a foundation to once again become a promotion candidate in the third division.
Hence, the clash on Sunday will be one between two sides somewhere between good and evil. At the same time, the game could also determine, which direction the rest of the season will go for either club. But while Hansa Rostock will be without key midfielder Willi Evseev 1860 have an almost full contingent and with two back to back wins are somewhat on the up in the league.
1860 Munich vs Rostock – Players to look out for:
Stefan Lex #7 – 1860 Munich
Stefan Lex has been a big reason for 1860’s resurgence in recent weeks. The extremely fast winger has scored three goals and three assists in 23 games this season. Not enough given his potential but against both Aalen and Cottbus, where he scored, Lex was excellent providing additional danger down the flanks. Against Hansa Lex will have to confirm his form if the Lions want to collect all three points.
Cebio Soukou #7 – Hansa Rostock
Cebio Soukou is Hansa Rostock’s top scorer this season. The 26-year-old Bochum native has scored eight goals and one assist in 22 games for Hansa Rostock this season. A holder of a Benin passport the forward was nominated for the country of his parents last November but did not yet feature for the African nation. Nonetheless, on Sunday he will once again be Rostock’s dangerman, and 1860 have to do well to shut him down.
1860 Munich vs Rostock – Match Stats
- Before the return leg (2-2 in September) 1860 have not hosted Hansa Rostock since the 2011/12 season where the Lions lost the home game to last-placed Hansa 1-0.
- Prince Osei Owusu is just one of two players to score two games in a row in which he was brought onto the field.
- The two strikers that have scored the most goals in this fixture are Martin Max (11 goals) and Olaf Bodden (six goals). Both played for both clubs, and Bodden managed to score two goals against 1860 in this fixture and four against Hansa. Martin Max, in the meantime, scored five goals against 1860 and six against Hansa Rostock.
- 1860 record against Hansa Rostock: W11 D7 L13.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: 1860 Munich vs Rostock – 3-1
1860 Munich vs Rostock – Lineups
Hiller – Berzel, Weber, Mauersberger, Steinhart – Wein, Bekiroglu – Lex, Karger – Mölders, Owusu
Head Coach: Daniel Bierofka
Gelios – Ahlschwede, Hüsing, Riedel, Rieble – Soukou, Wannenwetsch, Öztürk, Scherff – Breier, Biankadi
Head Coach: Jens Härtel
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.