Manuel Veth –
St Pauli vs Hamburg – Sunday, March 10, 12:30GMT/13:30CET – Millerntor-Stadion, Hamburg, Germany
The Hamburger Stadtderby is back. For the first time in history, however, St. Pauli are hosting their city rivals Hamburger SV at the Millerntor-Stadion for a Bundesliga 2 match.
It is not just a city derby, however. For FC St. Pauli, it is also an important match in the race for Bundesliga promotion. The Kiezkicker went into matchday 25 in fourth-place just one point behind Union Berlin, who occupy the promotion/relegation playoff place.
At the same time St. Pauli are not under pressure to be promoted. “We have played well all season and can now look forward to a festival. We want a big party on Sunday,” head coach Markus Kauczinski told the media this week. In other words St. Pauli want to ensure that the game on Sunday will be less of a disappointment than the return match, which ended in a boring 0-0 draw.
“Tactic will, of course, play a big role but I am expecting a great match,” Kauczinski said. “We are perhaps not as talented but we have other weapons to make up for our shortcomings,” Kauczinski promised. One of those weapons is St. Pauli attacking midfielder Mats Møller-Dæhli, but while the club is hopeful that the Norwegian can play stomach flu means he might not be at his best.
Furthermore, Kauczinski also refuses to take anything from Hamburg’s overall poor performance against Greuther Fürth. First of all, HSV still managed to win that game and second a derby is always a different sort of fixture. At the same time, Hamburger SV will feel the pressure ahead of this match.
Unlike their city rivals the former Bundesliga dinosaur, they were the last founding member never to be relegated, has the pressure of winning promotion back to the Bundesliga due to financial reasons. Furthermore, HSV have not beaten their city rivals in an away game since April 19, 2002, at a game that took place in Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion.
This time St. Pauli have a true home match, but HSV are still the favourites even if Hamburg head coach Hannes Wolf is uncomfortable with his side taking on the role of the favourites. “It is a match on eye-level, especially when one considers where the teams are in the standings,” Wolf explained. “In the standings, it is 47 points against 43 points, we are not talking about big against small and history, but about the year 2019,” Wolf concluded.
Nonetheless, the pressure will be massive for Hamburger SV this Sunday. Hamburg are second but were not convincing in their 1-0 win over Fürth, and the pressure will be on to not just win but also show a positive performance, which adds to the pressure, pressure that HSV players are trying to brush away.
“Those [discussions] are alibis that can’t play a role in our heads. Every player, who got relegated or joined the club has a clear goal. There is no need to talk about pressure,” captain Aaron Hunt said to the media this week. It remains to be seen whether all HSV players will be able to handle the pressure. Emotions and lack of pressure can trump talent in a big derby, and it would not be a surprise for St. Pauli to take something from the Stadtderby.
St Pauli vs Hamburg – Players to look out for:
Alex Meier #9 – FC St. Pauli
Alex Meier is a Hamburger SV product. But at the same time Alex Meier, who spent most of his career with Eintracht Frankfurt, always loved to play the club of his youth. In May he scored his eighth goal in his 17th game against Hamburg. On Sunday he wants to “win the match” against his former club. The striker has been a key player for St. Pauli since joining the club in the fall. “He is excellent in settling down balls and excellent in the air,” his teammate Justin Hoogma explained. On top of that he still has his goalscoring touch and with five goals in six Bundesliga 2 matches is already St. Pauli’s third best scorer of the season.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga #10 – Hamburger SV
Pierre-Michel Lasogga will be Hamburg’s most important player. The striker has scored ten goals in 18 matches this season. Furthermore, Lasogga is the only forward that has consistently scored this season. With Korean star Hee-chan Hwang out for this match and young striker Fiete Arp struggling to find his form Lasogga is, in fact, the only dangerman for HSV. In other words, if Lasogga cannot find the net on the weekend St. Pauli will have a good chance of shutting Hamburg out.
St Pauli vs Hamburg – Match Stats
- Hamburg have not won the Stadtderby in 17 years. HSV’s last victory was on April 19, 2002.
- St. Pauli, in the meantime won the last Stadtderby that took place in the Bundesliga. St. Pauli defeated HSV 1-0 thanks to a goal scored by Gerald Asamoah.
- This weekend’s clash will be the 93 edition of the Stadtderby in all competitions. Hamburger SV have won 59 games and St. Pauli just 19, 14 games ended in a draw.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: St Pauli vs Hamburg – 1-1
St Pauli vs Hamburg – Lineups
FC St. Pauli:
Himmelmann – Kalla, Avevor, Hoogma, Buballa – Knoll, Buchtmann – Miyaichi, Møller-Dæhli, Sobota – Alex Meier
Head Coach: Markus Kauczinski
Pollersbeck – Sakai, Bates, van Drongelen, Douglas Santos – Mangala – Narey, Hunt, Holtby, Jatta – Lasogga
Head Coach: Hannes Wolf
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.