KARLSRUHE FACT FILE
Thursday, 23. February 2017, 15:23 Uhr
With the disappointment of the last-gasp equaliser at Arminia Bielefeld banished, the focus is on the next matchup against immediate rivals in the table, Karlsruhe SC, who visit the Millerntor this Monday (2015 CET). As usual, we've compiled a few facts on our opponents.
All change in Karlsruhe. Head coach Tomas Oral was unable to replicate the success of his predecessor Markus Kauczinski and was handed his notice in early December. Lukas Kwasniok stepped in temporarily until a permanent replacement was found for the second half of the season in Mirko Slomka. After a promising start and a 3-2 home win over Arminia Bielefeld, things have gone downhill since then. Under Slomka's stewardship Karlsruhe have taken just one point from their last three matches and now sit level on points with the Boys in Brown, Bielefeld and Erzgebirge Aue, holding on to 15th place only by virtue of their superior goal difference.
Karlsruhe also looked to strengthen on the field during the winter break, signing five new players. Along with defender Jonas Meffert, Stefan Mugosa has had the biggest impact so far. The striker arrived from league rivals 1860 Munich and scored one goal and set up another in his opening two appearances. Mugosa was forced to sit out the next game, however, due to a clause in the loan agreement that would have required Karlsruhe to pay a penalty of one million euros had Mugosa featured against his previous club.
Away goals a rarity
KSC have scored 17 goals this season – one more than Ewald Lienen's side. Eight players have made the scoresheet, with Moritz Stoppelkamp and Dimitrios Diamantakos leading the way on four goals each. The Baden-based outfit have found the net just six times away from home. By way of comparison, Aziz Bouhaddouz is our most prolific goalscorer with five goals, followed by Cenk Sahin, who has netted on four occasions.
Head to head
The visitors may have their noses in front now but St. Pauli have the better head-to-head record in the second division. Karlsruhe have won just six of the 19 meetings so far, with five ending in a draw. Nevertheless, the goal difference is level at 22-22. The Boys in Brown have struggled at home against Karlsruhe recently, however, losing the last three. The most recent home win was on 12 March 2012 – which was also a Monday night game!
No player in either camp knows this fixture better than KSC keeper Dirk Orlishausen, who comes up against the Boys in Brown for the eighth time on Monday. It remains to be seen whether he will be between the posts, however, as there has been no clear No1 this season. Though Rene Vollath has made twice as many appearances (14) as Orlishausen (7), Slomka preferred the experienced club captain against Union Berlin.
The game at the Millerntor will be Karlsruhe's first taste of Monday night football this term, whereas the Boys in Brown have already had five. That won't be the only first, however. The players will run out on a brand-new pitch after the previous one had deteriorated to such an extent that it had to be replaced.