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FC St. Pauli entertain Greuther Fürth at the Millerntor this Saturday (kick-off: 1300 CET). With three games left to go, the position is clear. A win over their direct rivals would lift the Boys in Brown out of the relegation play-off spot. The approach going into the game is also clear, as director of sport Uwe Stöver was keen to point out.

Last week's round of matches proved very sobering for everyone connected with St. Pauli. With the exception of Erzgebirge Aue, all our relegation rivals picked up points to increase the pressure Markus Kauczinski's side after the 3-1 defeat at Jahn Regensburg. Our visitors on Saturday secured a 1-1 draw at home against VfL Bochum, a result that will have felt more like a defeat, however, in view of the late equaliser that prevented them from climbing to 11th in the table. Instead, that Bochum goal set up a massive relegation clash between the Boys in Brown in 16th and Fürth in 15th.

Nothing more needs to be said about the huge importance of the game, with vital points at stake for both sides. Pretty football doesn't matter now. If the Boys in Brown are to grab a crucial victory over the fellow strugglers, they will have to fight for every ball, cover every blade of grass and contest every tackle.

"I expect is to work Fürth hard from the first to the last second," said director of sport Uwe Stöver. "We have to fight them, fly into the tackles and give it all we've got to take the three points. Even though Fürth have stabilised their performances in recent weeks and made up a bit of ground in the table, we aim to deploy all our strengths and typical St. Pauli qualities to win this final."

Sami Allagui and Cenk Sahin are ruled out by suspension, but Lasse Sobiech and Jeremy Dudziak return to the squad after missing out at Regensburg due to illness, as do Bernd Nehrig and Waldemar Sobota, who have shaken off their injuries and resumed full training in midweek.


Photos: Witters