Manuel Veth –
Würzburg vs 1860 Munich – Saturday, March 16, 13:00GMT/14:00CET – Flyeralarm Arena, Würzburg, Germany
Würzburger Kicker missed a big chance to jump up to the top half of the table in the midweek game against SV Meppen. Furthermore, the Rothosen will be without Dave Gnaase, who received his tenth yellow card of the season and will now miss the game in what will surely be a sold out fixture in front of 13,090 fans at the Flyeralarm Arena in Northern Bavaria.
Instead of Gaase 20-year-old Patrick Sontheimer is expected to start for the Kickers. Meanwhile, Orhan Ademi, who is the club’s top scorer this season will also be back in the lineup after striker Patrick Breitkreuz was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in the match on Tuesday.
Overall, however, the game against Meppen showed that Würzburg, who are just two points behind 1860 in the standings are a dangerous side. — a dangerous side that needs to improve its efficiency in front of goal. “We have to be more clever,” Sontheimer said after the game. The sort of cleverness the Lions from Munich have displayed in recent weeks.
1860 Munich have won four out of their last five games and are now up to fifth place in the Liga 3 standings. Eight points behind Halle the gap to the promotion spots is still significant, but Würzburg was in the same situation during the 2015/16 season and still managed to achieve promotion at the end of the year.
Of course, in truth, any hope of promotion might be still a bit premature for the Lions. After all, they have scored seven goals in their last five games and the result against Hansa Rostock, in particular, on matchday 26 shows that despite the positives 1860 can be a vulnerable side.
In fact, it is results like the one against Hansa Rostock that have made the difference between an upper table Liga 3 side and a promotion candidate. The recent derby victory against Unterhaching is a good example, 1860 had chance after chance to win that game but failed to kill Haching off.
Nonetheless, while 1860 were in a similar situation at the return fixture and did drop two points this time they were able to hang on. “We are better than we were in the first half of the season,” Karger said after the game. “I am happy to have a good gap to the relegation spots. We want 46, 47 points as quickly as possible,” Daniel Bierofka added. “After that, we can see where we are at.”
Where the Lions will be at will be interesting to see after this matchday. While 1860 travel to Würzburg, third-placed Halle have a difficult away trip in what is an East German derby at Hansa Rostock. With three points in what will be a Bavarian Derby 1860 could close the gap to just five points and would not only be free of all relegation worries but could also somewhat dream of a promotion race for the rest of the season.
Würzburg vs 1860 Munich – Players to look out for:
Caniggia Elva #14 – Würzburger Kicker
Canadian Caniggia Elva will be Würzburg’s player to watch. Born in Vieux Fort on St. Lucia Caniggia Elva grew up in Calgary where he played his youth football for Calgary Southwest United. In 2014 he joined VfB Stuttgart but as he did not obtain Canadian citizenship until 2015, which alongside North Americans are the only non-Europeans eligible to play in the lower divisions, was sent out on loan to Racing Strasbourg. After receiving his Canadian citizenship in 2015 Elva played 57 games for VfB Stuttgart II before joining Würzburg in September 2018. A quick and technically gifted winger Elva has scored just one goal in ten games but can be a catalyst on the wing nonetheless.
Nico Karger #18 – 1860 Munich
Nico Karger is the derby hero. The attacking midfielder scored the golden goal against Unterhaching just before the halftime break on Tuesday. It was just his fifth goal in 27 games this season not enough from a player who managed to score 14 goals and three assists in 32 games in the Regionalliga Bayern last season. Overall, 1860 need more attacking depth up front if they want to push for a spot in the top six for the rest of the season. Karger is the man to provide that depth and maybe the goal on Tuesday was just what the 26-year-old needed.
Würzburg vs 1860 Munich – Match Stats
- 1860 Munich have 40 points after 28 games, the last promoted Liga 3 side to have that many points at this stage was Würzburg in 2015/16, the Kickers were promoted to Bundesliga 2 at the end of the season.
- No team that has collected 35 points or more after matchday 28 was ever relegated from Liga 3.
- Würzburg and 1860 have met on four previous occasions. The Kickers record against 1860: W1 D1 L2.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Würzburg vs 1860 Munich – 1-2
Würzburg vs 1860 Munich – Lineups
Drewes – Göbel, Hägele, Schuppan, Kurzweg – Kaufmann, Sontheimer, Bachmann, Elva – Ademi, Baumann
Head Coach: Michael Schiele
Hiller – Paul, Weber, Lorenz, Steinhart – Lex, Wein, Bekiroglu, Karger – Mölders, Owusu
Head Coach: Daniel Bierofka
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.