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No time to draw breath! Just four days after the high-intensity 1-1 draw at SV Sandhausen the Boys in Brown are back in action again when FC Erzgebirge Aue visit the Millerntor on Friday (kick-off: 1830 CET). Olaf Janßen's side will need a big effort against the Saxony outfit if they are to secure their second home win of the season.

The Boys in Brown go up against Aue on the back of a very short recovery period. And if the statistics are anything to go by, it's going to be a very difficult game. St. Pauli have won just two of the previous 13 meetings and lost seven. Ultimately, though, the only thing that counts on Friday evening is the performance on the pitch, not the head-to-head record. Against Sandhausen the performance was good, ensuring Janßen's side claimed a draw in reward for their efforts to take them to 18 points and sixth place in the table.

Aue have also had a decent campaign so far, amassing 16 points to leave them two places behind the Boys in Brown in eighth spot. As on Monday at Sandhausen, Friday's game could well point the way ahead for both sides. "We're up against a team who will push us all the way," said Olaf Janßen looking forward. "We need to play with intelligence and pace ourselves well, though we want to impose ourselves on the game all the same." An early goal could give his players assurance, especially as Aue are the only team in the league yet to win a point after going behind.

Nevertheless, the Saxony outfit travel to Hamburg in confident mood after battling to a 1-0 victory over Jahn Regensburg last time out despite being reduced to ten men for more than 70 minutes following the sending-off of striker Dimitrij Nazarov. That speaks for their character and desire.

Friday is therefore likely to be a hard-fought encounter for Janßen's charges, who with just 12 bookings to their name are the fairest side in the league. Aue, in contrast, lie bottom of the fair-play table with 29 yellow and two red cards. The Boys in Brown will look to their strength in the challenge to counteract any tougher style of play.

Combative it may be, then, but it remains to be hoped that there will be no additions to the injury list at the end of the 90 minutes. In Philipp Heerwagen, Philipp Ziereis, Richard Neudecker, Cenk Sahin, Aziz Bouhaddouz, Marc Hornschuh, Yiyoung Park, Ryo Miyaichi and Maurice Litka, nine players are still unavailable for selection on Friday. There are also question marks over the fitness of captain Bernd Nehrig, who had to go off just before half-time at Sandhausen after sustaining a blow to the calf, and defensive leader Lasse Sobiech, who returned to Hamburg with a severe headache after a collision with Sandhausen keeper Marcel Schuhen.

Midfielder Clemens Fandrich looks set to return to the squad for the visitors, for whom long-term casualty Nicky Adler and Dimitrij Nazarov (three-match ban) are the only absentees.


Photo: Witters