FORTUNA FACT FILE
Wednesday, 20. September 2017, 18:41 Uhr
Next up for the Boys in Brown after the 4-0 reverse against Ingolstadt and the 1-0 victory at Kiel is a home clash with Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday (kick-off: 1300 CET). As usual, we have put together a few facts and figures on our forthcoming opponents.
The Düsseldorf club completed several items of business just before the transfer window slammed shut on 31 August. Ihlas Bebou moved to Bundesliga outfit Hannover 96 for a fee reported to be in the region of five million euros, while Özkan Yildirim joined Eintracht Braunschweig on loan. In the other direction Fortuna signed Takashi Usami from FC Augsburg and Benito Raman from Standard Liege.
Rensing sidelined by rib injury
Fortuna coach Friedhelm Funkel again went with Michael Rensing as his first-choice goalkeeper at the start of the campaign. As in the previous season, the 33-year-old began in excellent form, keeping two clean sheets and helping Fortuna to a successful start that saw them take seven points from their first three games. A fractured rib then put Rensing out of action, however. His replacement Raphael Wolf, 25, has since conceded six goals in three matches.
Nico Gießelmann completed a move to Düsseldorf in summer after four years at Greuther Fürth. The left-back immediately claimed a starting berth at Fortuna, impressing with his strength in the tackle. In the first six games Gießelmann won 55 of his 74 duels (74.3 per cent), a figure bettered only by our very own Christopher 'Jackson' Avevor, who won 36 out of 48 (75 per cent).
Dangerous after going behind
Düsseldorf had to chase the game four times in the first six matches, yet only lost one of them, going down 3-1 at Greuther Fürth last time out. Funkel's side came from 2-1 behind to draw 2-2 against Braunschweig to earn a draw and recovered to take all three points against Sandhausen (2-1 after being 1-0 down) and Union Berlin (3-2 after being 2-1 down).
Stops and starts
The match officials have been kept very busy whenever Fortuna have played this season. Funkel's side have had 113 fouls committed against them and committed 107 themselves. Only games involving SV Sandhausen (224 fouls in total) have had more interruptions. By comparison, St. Pauli's first six matches saw just 145 fouls, the fewest for any club.
With Olaf Janßen having replaced Ewald Lienen in summer, Düsseldorf boss Friedhelm Funkel is now the oldest head coach in Bundesliga 2. Fortuna are the 63-year-old's tenth club as a manager, and Saturday's game will be his 53rd in charge of the visitors since being handed the job in March last year. Funkel has averaged 1.41 points a game in that time, a record he bettered only at FC Köln (2002 to 2003) and VfL Bochum (2010 to 2011), where he collected 1.62 points per game on average.
Photo: Fortuna Düsseldorf