Preview: FC Heidenheim v FC St. Pauli – 26/04/15

The relegation battle at the bottom of the 2.Bundesliga continues to twist and turn. A huge light at the end of the tunnel appeared for St. Pauli after a last minute winner came out of nowhere to defeat Nuremberg, but the light was somewhat faded over the weekend. On 51 minutes on Saturday afternoon, thinks were looking pretty perfect for FCSP. Former St. Pauli man Michael Gregoritsch had given Bochum an early lead at 1860, and Eintracht Braunschweig had just scored in Aalen to take the lead. Perfect. But the following 39 minutes of football saw a huge twist in the chase for survival. Aalen equalised on 53 minutes, and then in the other game 1860 drew level on 56′. Not too bad, right? Well Ofosu-Ayeh scored Aalen’s winner on 69′, and in the last moments of the game in Munich, Stephan Hain scored a crucial goal for 1860. Just to make matters worse, Aue picked up a 1-0 victory and all 3 points at home to FSV Frankfurt on Sunday, meaning the bottom four teams had all won. As you were, then.

One positive from that was that Greuther Fuerth were now dragged back into the relegation fight. When they beat St. Pauli in mid-February it looked like they’d distanced themselves from the pack, however they’ve not won since. 5 draws and 3 defeats later, they sit on 31 points, just 3 points above St. Pauli on 28th who currently occupy the relegation playoff place. A trip to promotion chasing Karlsruhe, currently unbeaten in 11, isn’t exactly the trip Furth needed either. Elsewhere on Saturday, 1860 travel to Dusseldorf to take on a Fortuna side who have struggled massively since the winter break and still somehow find themselves in 7th spot despite not having won in 3.

So by the time St. Pauli kick off at 13:30 (12:30 UK) on Sunday, hopefully both Furth and 1860 will have dropped points and given St. Pauli a fighting chance of climbing out of the relegation places by the end of the weekend. In order to do so, St. Pauli must take revenge away at a FC Heidenheim side who beat them 3-0 at the Millerntor in November. Heidenheim were brilliant that day, soaking up the pressure from FCSP and counter attacking to great effect. Gulp.

Heidenheim haven’t won in 3 which is something for the optimists. But, it’s no surprise given those matches were played against each of the top 3 sides in the division. That said, with 1 win in 5 and only 3 goals in those 5 games, there’s certainly room for optimism for the boys in brown. Plus with only 3 wins this side of the winter break, Heidenheim aren’t the force they were in the first half of the campaign.

But then you have to remember that this is St. Pauli, away from home, with 1 win and 3 amassed from 14 away games so far this season. Big gulp. The guest block will be occupied by a sold-out 1480 following for FCSP. Lienen has declared the team ready, let’s go!