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DÜSSELDORF FACT FILE

Next up for the Boys in Brown after the late win over Kickers Würzburg is a trip to Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday (kick-off: 1830 CET). As usual, we've compiled a few facts on our opponents to bring you up to speed for the game.

Relegation worries

On completion of the first half of the season Friedhelm Funkel's charges occupied a comfortable eighth place in the table, but since then the situation has changed for the worse. Düsseldorf have dropped to 11th on 35 points, just three ahead of the relegation/promotion play-off spot and five of a relegation berth. Fortuna have taken just ten points from 12 matches since the winter break and haven't won in their last four.

Poor home form

The ESPRIT Arena has been anything but a fortress this season. Funkel's team have won only three times at home and amassed just 15 points. Their last home victory came in Round 10, a 4-0 drubbing of Arminia Bielefeld. In the home table Fortuna sit next-to-bottom, with only Karlsruhe picking up fewer points on their own turf this term.

Prolific strike force

The Boys in Brown will need to keep their eyes peeled on Friday evening, as Düsseldorf boast 13 different goalscorers in their ranks who have contributed 31 goals this season. Striker Rouwen Hennings leads the way with eight strikes. The experienced marksman, who is on loan from English Premier League outfit Burnley, is doing his job in the poacher role in Funkel's lone-striker system. A question mark hangs over the availability of the former St. Pauli man, however, after he was laid low by stomach flu at the start of the week. Ihlas Bebou comes next on five goals – there's more on him to follow. The attacking duo of Hennings and Bebou have thus contributed 13 of Fortuna's 31 goals so far, for an impressive total of 24 combined goals and assists.

Homegrown

With five goals and eight assists, the aforementioned Ihlas Bebou has been one of Düsseldorf's key performers this season. The 22-year-old right-winger moved to Düsseldorf from Hilden six years ago and demonstrates his desire to get forward primarily through his ability to dribble at pace. Bebou has been involved in 791 duels this term, winning 384 of them to put him among the league's best. In view of this statistic it should come as no surprise that he has already suffered 77 fouls in 28 matches – the fourth-highest total in the league. Bebou has scored the winning goal on two occasions – the 1-0 win over VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 2 and the 1-0 defeat of Union Berlin in Round 11. 

Ever-present

Fortuna goalkeeper Michael Rensing joined the Rhinelanders from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013. Now in his fourth season, the 32-year-old is a mainstay of Funkel's team. He has started every league game this term and has yet to miss a single minute. Rensing has kept ten clean sheets in 29 league appearances, putting him in fifth place in that particular category. In comparison, Phillip Heerwagen has remained unbeaten seven times in 14 games this season.

Head-to-head

Although Düsseldorf have their noses in front in the table, with three more points to their name, the Boys in Brown have the better overall record in the second division. The Rhinelanders have won just five of the 21 meetings to date, six have ended all square, and ten have gone to St. Pauli. Lienen's side know what they are up against, however, as the reverse fixture finished 1-0 to Düsseldorf.

 

Photo: Witters

 

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