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Off to Karlsruhe. A busy week comes to an end with a veritable six-pointer at KSC on Saturday (13:00 CET). An encounter with opportunities for both teams.

In Wednesday's scoreless draw with Heidenheim, Robin Himmelmann produced a sensational reflex save to keep out Jonas Föhrenbach's header. That stop was the ultimate test en route to his 50th clean sheet in the club colours. Add focused defending as a unit to our mainstay between the posts, and we have a foundation on which to build at Karlsruhe. 

The preparations for the game fairly flew past. The Boys in Brown had just two days in which to recover from the Heidenheim game and lay the groundwork for the trip south. As head coach Jos Luhukay pointed out earlier in the week, the current exertions necessitate "a certain degree of workload management in training". It would therefore come as no surprise were his starting lineup to feature a number of changes. For the Boys in Brown will need fresh legs on Saturday to hold their own against an in-form Karlsruhe.

Christian Eichner's side are unbeaten in the three games since the restart, a run that has seen them concede just one goal and inflict a first Rückrunde defeat on second-half-of-the-season pacesetters Darmstadt (2-0). Karlsruhe took advantage of the stoppage to bounce back with renewed energy, an energy the Boys in Brown must face up to and then trust in their own strengths.

Saturday's meeting offers both teams a huge opportunity. The home side can move out of the drop zone with a win and in the process drag half the league into the relegation battle. That adds a certain spice to the game. The Boys in Brown, for their part, are looking to give themselves some breathing space by putting more distance between themselves and the lower regions of the table. With strength of purpose, passion and self-belief.

Photo: Witters