BOYS IN BROWN OUT TO STEP UP A GEAR AGAINST DRESDEN AS FANS PROTEST
Friday, 30. November 2018, 14:03 Uhr
FC St. Pauli entertain Dynamo Dresden in their third-last home game of the year this Saturday (kick-off: 1300 CET). The Boys in Brown go into the game looking to extend their unbeaten home record against the Saxons at the Millerntor, which will be unaccustomedly quiet during the first half due to a silent protest by the fans.
The equivalent fixture last season ended in a 2-2 draw, Dynamo's first point at the Millerntor after a run of four defeats on the bounce. Despite that minor setback, the Boys in Brown have not lost any of their seven home games against the Saxons, a statistic they hope to nudge up to eight on Saturday.
Robin Himmelmann and Co. are fired up for returning to winning ways in front of their own fans. A combination of two international breaks, a 1-0 defeat against Kiel and a 1-1 draw against Heidenheim mean that the last win at home against Sandhausen (3-1 on 7 October) stretches back almost two months. Time for another three points at the Millerntor, then. Bearing in mind the recent 1-1 draw at Regensburg, however, the Boys in Brown will have to up their game if that is going to happen, as head coach Markus Kauczinski point out at the pre-match news conference, admitting his team had not had the best of days last Sunday and would have to step up a gear if they were to get the better of Dresden.
The fans will also be stepping up a gear on Saturday, though not until the second half. "The time has come," announced the umbrella group of supporters in a joint statement during the week. "Reclaim the game – from the top to the bottom league," they added as part of their protest against the increasing spread of kick-off times, and especially the Monday night games. As a result, most grounds in Germany this weekend will stay silent for the first 45 minutes, with the volume only being turned back on for the second half.
"If the fans want to make a statement in this way, they are perfectly entitled to do so," said striker Henk Veerman. "I'll look forward to a noisy second half," added the Dutchman, who was on target against both Heidenheim and Regensburg. The Boys in Brown, for their part, will have to go flat out from the outset, and not just after the interval. Dresden have, after all, been particularly prolific in the opening stages of games this term.
The visitors, currently tenth in the table, could draw level with Markus Kauczinski's side with a win, while the Boys in Brown are looking to consolidate their position at the top by adding three more points to their tally. Both teams have injury worries ahead of the fixture, however. Kauczinski will be without Christopher Buchtmann, Richard Neudecker (both injured), Johannes Flum (ill) and possibly Marvin Knoll (muscle trouble). Dynamo boss Maik Walpurgis, on the other hand, has two first-team regulars unavailable in skipper Marco Hartmann and defender Linus Wahlqvist.