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Last season's game at Fürth a good omen?

FC St. Pauli go to Greuther Fürth on Sunday (1330 CET). After the recent 2-2 draw against Jahn Regensburg, Olaf Janßen's side aim to return to winning ways at long last, though Fürth are in desperate need of the points themselves. The Boys in Brown have fond memories of last season's fixture, however.

"There's no way it should have ended 2-2 here today," said Lasse Sobiech after the home draw against Regensburg last time out. The Boys in Brown showed great morale to come back from two goals down thanks to two goals in quick succession by Sobiech and Sami Allagui but were unable to convert their superiority after the break into their second home win of the season.

Janßen's side have worked very hard in preparation for the trip to Fürth. The St. Pauli boss is without long-term absentees Ryo Miyaichi, Marc Hornschuh and Philipp Ziereis but otherwise has a full squad at his disposal in the quest to bring a run of five games without a win to an end. His team will take heart from the equivalent fixture back in December 2016, however, when the Boys in Brown ended a winless run of 11 games with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Aziz Bouhaddouz and Cenk Sahin.

The rest of the tale is quick in the telling. Buoyed by that success, the Boys in Brown came out of the winter break to set a new club record in the second half of the season and even overtake Fürth, who had enjoyed a 14-point advantage over them with seven games left to play.

This season it is Fürth who have made a terrible start to the campaign. Janos Radoki was dismissed in late August after four defeats, and after one game with caretaker boss Mirko Dickhaut took charge, Damir Buric was unveiled as the new head coach in September. The 53-year-old has guided the Cloverleaves to three victories in the meantime, yet the situation remains serious for the side who rank second in the all-time second division table. They sit next-to-bottom, three points short of the relegation/promotion play-off berth and four from safety. Nine of their eleven points so far have been garnered at home.

The task for the Boys in Brown on Sunday will be to defend set pieces much better than they have been doing and to be more effective when it comes to taking their chances. Despite a host of opportunities to grab a winner against Regensburg, the third goal just wouldn't come and more points were dropped. They thus go to Fürth determined to emulate the success of December 2016 and bring their winless run to an end.


Photo: Witters