The promotion playoff, the place that no-one wants?

Last weekend was yet another weekend of surprises in the 2.Bundesliga, with St Pauli, Fortuna Düsseldorf and Paderborn all dropping points. The three are each pursuing a 3rd place finish which would mean they would go into the playoff with the opportunity of achieving promotion to the Bundesliga. But  in recent months, it would seem that neither of those three clubs actually want to get promoted. In the second half of the season (since Ingolstadt in December), St Pauli have picked up 17 points, which would place them 7th. Paderborn have picked up 19 points, which would place them in 5th in the table, and Fortuna Düsseldorf have managed 13 points, which would only see them in 12th place in the table. Unsurprisingly, the two teams with the best form in the second half of the season are Greuther Furth (27 points) and Eintracht Frankfurt (23 points).

This weekend continued the trend. Fortuna Düsseldorf lost away to Hansa Rostock, Paderborn could only draw at home to 10 men 1860 Munich, and St Pauli battled from 3-0 to draw 3-3 with FSV Frankfurt who also had a man sent off. The St Pauli point provided mixed feelings, it was disappointing to drop two points, but it was a great comeback which showed huge character amongst the players and hopefully it could be a catalyst – particularly for Ebbers and Kruse, who were both on the scoresheet for the first time since the winter break. Those two players were key to our success in the first part of the season, and any success in the closing weeks could depend heavily on their performances.

Unusually for German football, there’s a midweek set of fixtures this week, so the ‘race’ for third place continues. St Pauli welcome Union Berlin to the Millerntor tomorrow evening (Tuesday). Union Berlin sit 7th in the table, mainly due to their impressive home form, although they’ve only won 3 games away from home this season. St Pauli won in Berlin earlier this season 2-0, with goals from Naki and Thorandt. Ahead of the game, Andre Schubert has said he will probably make two or three changes to the starting line-up due to the hectic schedule. With a trip to leaders Greuther Furth coming up on Friday too, a win is vitally important.

Elsewhere, Fortuna Düsseldorf will host FSV Frankfurt at home tomorrow. FSV are in decent form, now five games unbeaten after the draw with St Pauli. Düsseldorf on the other hand are now 4 games without a win. Paderborn will play on Wednesday, with a trip to Aue. The league is unpredictable, just who will grasp the opportunity?

League table:

Düsseldorf: 54 points

St Pauli: 53 points

Paderborn: 52 points