It’s yet another huge weekend in the 2.Bundesliga this weekend, with undoubtedly the biggest game of the week featuring St Pauli as they travel to Fortuna Dusseldorf on Monday evening. St Pauli sit in 4th place in the table, 2 points behind Fortuna Dusseldorf in 3rd place; the promotion playoff place in 2.Bundesliga. With Greuther Furth and Eintracht Frankfurt opening up a gap at the top of the league, you’d expect that they will now take the two automatic promotion places, leaving Fortuna Dusseldorf, St Pauli and Paderborn to battle for the 3rd place playoff. The team who finishes 3rd will take on the team who finishes 16th in the Bundesliga in a two-legged playoff for the right to compete in the Bundesliga next season. St Pauli can’t really afford to lose in Dusseldorf, which would give Dusseldorf a 5 point lead ahead over them with only 6 games left. St Pauli also have a difficult trip to Greuther Furth to face in coming weeks, so picking up points in these games are a must.
It’s no secret that St Pauli have struggled since the winter break, but so have Dusseldorf. It’s easy to forget that Dusseldorf were top of the league and unbeaten just before the Winter break, and were looking as if they were going to storm the league. Whilst they are unbeaten in 5, these games have been against ‘weaker’ opposition and Dusseldorf would have hoped to pick up more points than they have. The strength of the league this season though is incredible, last season Augsburg were promoted with 65 points, and the season before St Pauli were promoted in 2nd place with 64 points – but that tally this season will be greatly surpassed by the teams finishing in the top 2. Monday evening will be a huge game for both sides, and could ultimately determine the final positions of both sides.
Matchday 28 starts on Friday evening, with Eintracht Frankfurt able to go top if they win at home against Bochum. The two sides are in contrasting form, Eintracht Frankfurt have their last 4, and only lost once in 8, whilst Bochum haven’t won in 5. Frankfurt are also unbeaten at home all season, so it’s difficult to see how Bochum will get anything from the game. Paderborn have the chance to go above St Pauli too, if they can get a win in Braunschweig. Paderborn have struggled in recent weeks, with only 1 point in their last 3 games despite facing teams threatened by relegation. They’ll face another difficult game in Braunschweig, against a side who are unbeaten in 7, although they’ve drawn 6 of these! Finally, Aachen will host Dynamo Dreseden. Aachen sit in 16th place and are in desperate need of points. Aachen’s problem this season is they have drawn too many games, they’ve only picked up 3 wins and have 12 draws.
On Saturday, leaders Greuther Furth travel to Aue, who are seemingly safe from relegation after a good run of results, picking up 10 points in 5 games, including a win against St Pauli two weeks ago. But Furth are a formidable opponent, having won their last 5 games and putting in some highly impressive performances. Elsewhere, 1860 Munich will host Hansa Rostock. 1860 Munich have struggled in recent weeks, but picked up a decent win in Dresden last week and will fancy their chances of beating a poor Hansa Rostock side. Rostock sit rock bottom of the league, and they’ve not won away from home all season. Rostock have only 2 wins all season, one of which was against 1860 Munich at home in October.
Sunday mainly features sides struggling in the lower reaches of the table. 13th placed Ingolstadt will host 15th placed Duisburg. Ingolstadt are on a great run of form, now unbeaten in 10 games which has dragged them out of the promotion places. Duisburg have also had a decent run in recent weeks, picking up 7 points from a possible 9, with an impressive result away to Paderborn last weekend. Karlsruhe, who sit 17th, face Union Berlin. Karlsruhe haven’t won in 5, and face Union Berlin who have had a decent season and sit 7th. The last game on Sunday pits Cottbus against FSV Frankfurt. FSV have picked up some decent results in recent weeks to escape the threat of relegation, but they’re not completely safe yet and face a trip to Cottbus who have picked up credible draws against Fortuna Dusseldorf and St Pauli in recent weeks.
The week will finish with St Pauli making the trip to Dusseldorf on Monday evening. Enjoy the weekend!