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The Boys in Brown entertain FC Ingolstadt 04 on Sunday (13:30 CET) in the first of three successive home games against the promoted sides, with Dynamo Dresden due to travel to the Millerntor in October followed by Hansa Rostock. The objective going into Sunday's matchup is clear: to claim all three points, as in the preceding home games against Holstein Kiel (3-0), HSV (3-2) and Jahn Regensburg (2-0).

Owing to the first international break of the season, the visit of Ingolstadt is the first home game since the Boys in Brown ended a run of four wins in succession for league leaders Jahn Regensburg with a convincing 2-0 victory at the end of August, three 'long' weeks ago. Yet the joy over a third home win on the bounce was later tempered by the disappointment of a 1-0 defeat at Hannover 96 last time out. "We lacked the ideas to hurt them," said striker Guido Burgstaller after the final whistle. Coach Timo Schultz felt there were lots of positives to take from the game, but singled out his side's lack of resolve on the approach to goal as the reason for their second defeat of the season.

After the customary analysis of the Hannover performance a line was drawn under it and the focus turned to the visit of Ingolstadt in an intensive week of training. In the first of three home games against the promoted teams, the Boys in Brown will have to reduce the glut of individual errors at Hannover and add punch and effectiveness to their overall play. If they can do so, they stand an excellent chance of celebrating a fourth home win in a row for the first time in more than six years, when the Boys in Brown sent Düsseldorf (4-0), Nürnberg (1-0), Leipzig (1-0) and Bochum (5-1) packing back in May 2015.

In front of up to 14,773 fans under the new 2G rule (Covid vaccinated or recovered) at the Millerntor, the visitors from Ingolstadt, who lost 3-0 at home to Werder Bremen last time out on the back of a 2-0 victory at SV Sandhausen, their sole win to date, will be out to spoil the 'Connect 4' party against the Boys in Brown. Timo Schultz is expecting a high-octane encounter against a fast-paced, hard-running Ingolstadt outfit in which his team will set out to play their customary attractive brand of attacking football. Commitment, desire, team spirit and passion will be needed to ensure the performance ignites the crowd once again on the road to another home victory.


Photo: Witters