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With the business end of the season gradually approaching, and before the second division takes its final international break next week, the Boys in Brown entertain FC Heidenheim on Friday evening (18.30 CET). It is the first of four top-of-the-table encounters at the Millerntor and the Schultz XI are eager to underline their impressive home form with another three points in front of what is set to be the biggest crowd in over two years.

With just over three quarters of the campaign gone, things are starting to hot up in Bundesliga 2. The seven-game run-in kicks after the final international break of the season next week, but before then the Boys in Brown play host to FC Heidenheim on Friday evening in the first of four matchups with promotion-chasing rivals. Werder Bremen are the visitors in early April and later in the month SV Darmstadt and FC Nürnberg will also leave their calling cards at the Millerntor. April is still some way off, however, so the Schultz XI are fully focused on the job in hand against Heidenheim.

After four games without a win, including a 2-0 defeat at HSV and a 3-2 reverse at Darmstadt, Heidenheim propelled themselves back into the promotion race last week with a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen, who had previously won nine and drawn one of their ten games under new boss Ole Werner. That victory will have brought a welcome confidence boost to the side led by veteran coach Frank Schmidt. Heidenheim have been less than convincing away from home this season. Their record of four wins, two draws and seven defeats on the road leaves them desperate to get a result at the Millerntor to remain a contention in the run-in.

Three points are also a must for the Boys of Brown, of course, no easy task given the lengthy casualty list. The last three meetings of the two sides all ended in victory, however, and every one of them was a cracker! A 4-2 home win in the opening game of the 2020/21 season was followed by a 4-3 thriller in the reverse fixture, and in the equivalent fixture earlier on in the campaign the Schultz XI came from a goal down at half-time to win 4-2 at Heidenheim.

It remains to be seen whether the goals will fly in again on Friday, of course. But the home fans in attendance at the Millerntor, which will be full to capacity for the first time since the 3-1 defeat of VfL Osnabrück on 1 March 2020, will obviously have nothing against another goal fest and a fourth win in a row against Heidenheim.

Photo: Witters