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FC Ingolstadt provide the opposition on Saturday afternoon (1300 CET) in the second of four games in a row against promotion contenders. Markus Kauczinski's side are looking to build on a decent performance against Nürnberg and atone for the home defeat against Ingolstadt earlier in the season.

Some time has passed since the stinging 4-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at the Millerntor five months ago. The Boys in Brown have dropped six places in the league since that day and go to Ingolstadt sitting 11th in the table, whereas Ingolstadt, who were 15th back then, have climbed ten places to fifth. The roles are reversed, then, when the two teams meet at the Audi Sportpark on Saturday.

After their two-year spell in the Bundesliga, the home side have recovered from a shaky start on their return to the second tier and have made steady progress since Stefan Leitl took charge in round 4. Despite taking just five of a possible 12 points since the winter break, they have been able to reduce the gap to the play-off spot to three points, and a win tomorrow could see them close the gap still further.

For their part, the Boys in Brown will be doing everything in their power to prevent that from happening by carrying on where they left off against Nürnberg on Monday. Kauczinski's charges had the second-placed side on the verge of defeat, but eventually had to settle for a point despite creating a host of opportunities. Coming on the back of defeats against Darmstadt (1-0) and Heidenheim (3-1), however, the performance against Nürnberg was a confidence booster ahead of the trip to Ingolstadt.

No one is any doubt about the severity of the Saturday's test, particularly as Ingolstadt have been very solid at the back recently. No team has recorded more clean sheets this season (nine in total), and since the turn of the year only Jahn Regensburg have managed to find the net against them, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

After keeping their first clean sheet in a while against Nürnberg, the Boys in Brown now go to Ingolstadt looking to do so again and hopefully lay the foundation for a point and possibly even three. The roles may be reversed, but if they show the passion, application and desire they produced on Monday, Kauczinski's side have what it takes to be successful at Ingolstadt.


Photo: Witters