A Brief Preview: Union Berlin (Home)

St. Pauli (6th) host Union Berlin (5th) on Monday evening (7:15pm kick off, UK time) with the game being shown live on BT Sport in the UK. St. Pauli go into the game on the back of a very good win in Dresden last weekend, but Union Berlin are likely to prove much tougher competition. Union Berlin are having a good season, and have recovered from a winless November by gong unbeaten in their last 5 games. In that run they’ve scored 11 goals and conceded just 3. 

A key factor in the game will be whether St. Pauli can overcome their abysmal home record, having only picked up 4 wins from 11 home matches this campaign. The main weakness has been scoring goals at home, averaging less than a goal per game. St. Pauli have struggled to break down defences, who usually come to sit back, soak up pressure and hit St. Pauli on the counter attack.

St. Pauli will  be without Soren Gonther who is suspended, and Christopher Buchtmann who has a groin injury and could be out for a couple of weeks. Florian Mohr will replace Gonther, whilst Buchtmann is likely to be replaced by Kalla or Kringe.

It’s a game that usually promises goals, particularly for Union’s Torsten Mattuschka, who has scored 5 times in his last 6 appearances against St. Pauli. Roland Vrabec pin-pointed Mattuschka as the main threat during the pre-match press conference, saying “Mattuschka is the key man in their ranks. He is very clever and experienced and can decide a game alone.” The last 5 meetings between the team’s have seen a total of 20 goals. But with the lack of goals at home for St. Pauli this season, it may be a more defensive encounter.

Prediction: 2-2. Mattuschka to score twice…