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After VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 got the ball rolling on Friday, Arminia Bielefeld and FC St. Pauli complete the opening round of matches in the new second division season on Monday evening (2030 CET). No easy task for Jos Luhukay's men.

In Uwe Neuhaus's Arminia, the Boys in Brown face a tough assignment on their very first outing. "Bielefeld are well-honed unit where everyone knows what the others are going to do," said Robin Himmelmann in the run-up to the game. And he is right. Seasoned players such as captain Fabian Klos and Andreas Voglsammer have been pounding the goal trail together for years now. The strike pairing were particularly prolific in the second half of last season, banging in the goals to ensure Arminia are the best team in the league in 2019 with a total of 31 points.

Yet forewarned is forearmed, of course. "We know what we're up against," said skipper Christopher Avevor. "We have to defend aggressively as a team. The system isn't perfect, of course, but we're making progress and things are starting to gel."

The new system is not the only cause for optimism that the Boys in Brown can make a positive start. They know their way around the opening day, after all, having lost just once in the last ten seasons (at VfB Stuttgart in 2016). A record that will hopefully continue tomorrow.


Photos: Witters