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TOUGH BATTLE ON THE CARDS AT BRAUNSCHWEIG

The Boys in Brown will again go all out to bring three points back to Hamburg when they travel to Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday (kick-off: 1330 CET). The players have worked hard in training this week and go to last year's losing play-off finalists with big intentions.

After the 2-1 reverse against Düsseldorf the mood in the camp was one of bewilderment. It had been a convincing performance in the final hour, after all. Players and fans alike were therefore in agreement that a 2-2 draw was the minimum they had deserved. Unfortunately, a point proved beyond reach for the Boys in Brown despite giving everything to the end. Against Braunschweig, they are hoping for a different story. "Part of the process of developing is that eventually we'll put the chances away," said captain Bernd Nehrig.

Eintracht are decimated. Last weekend they slipped to the first defeat of the season at newly promoted Jahn Regensburg, their unbeaten run coming to an end amid a shower of red cards for Mirko Boland, Salim Khelifi and Maximilian Sauer, who will all watch from the stands on Sunday. On top of that, leading scorer Christoffer Nyman is ruled out after rupturing a muscle in his lower leg. Yet St. Pauli know from experience that adequate replacements can be found for the players sidelined by injury. "I'm not giving it a great deal of attention," said head coach Olaf Janßen. "There's enough depth in the squad for them to field eleven established second-division players." Braunschweig, who narrowly missed out on promotion last season in the play-off against VfL Wolfsburg, are therefore still a tough nut to crack for all their selection problems. "They're in the running at the top end of the table every year and you simply have to take your hat off to them," Janßen continued. "They're the league's best team when it comes to switching the play, so it's going to be a severe examination."

Janßen also touched on his own injury problems at the pre-match press conference, explaining that fit-again Christopher Buchtmann and Aziz Bouhaddouz were options for the bench at most: "Neither of them is at 100%, of course. It's important for them to be healthy when they play." Marc Hornschuh and Mats Møller Dæhli have yet to resume full training.

No matter who runs out in the end, the game presents a genuine challenge. The Lions are traditionally very difficult to beat on home turf and have taken eight points from the first four games at their own ground. "We face a very difficult task," said Janßen. "Braunschweig are a force at home." Nevertheless, the Boys in Brown have already shown what they are capable of on the road, taking nine points from their four outings so far. It promises to be a very tight affair at the Eintracht Stadium.

 

Photos: Witters

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