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The Boys in Brown conclude the 21st round of matches in the 'battle of the north' at Holstein Kiel on Monday evening (20:30 CET). Kiel, unbeaten in their last four, go into the game looking to improve their home record by winning for the first time at Holstein Stadium since late October, while the Boys in Brown are targeting their first win this year, at the third time of asking, and their first away win in 11 months.

The opening game of the year didn't go according to plan. A 3-0 reverse at Fürth left the Boys in Brown feeling frustrated, not just by their fourth away defeat of the season, but also by the way they performed. The attempt to build on the home wins against Wehen Wiesbaden and Arminia Bielefeld before the winter break had failed. Frustration was also the predominant emotion after the next home game against Stuttgart when the Boys in Brown were denied all three points despite a good performance against tough opposition.

After resuming the league campaign with two games in four days, Jos Luhukay's side had over a week to analyse the draw against Stuttgart before directing their attention to the game at Holstein Kiel. A repeat of the showing against VfB will needed if the Boys in Brown are to end a 14-game barren spell away from home by claiming their first victory of the year at the third attempt.

The Boys in Brown know this will be no easy task against an accomplished Kiel side who won 2-0 at Karlsruhe last time out. "We have a tough job ahead of us," said fleet-footed winger Ryo Miyaichi. Kiel are unbeaten in four and have lost just one of their last eight games, a 4-2 home defeat against VfL Osnabrück in early December.

Home games have not been Kiel's strongest point this season. Just two of their nine games in front of their own fans have ended in victory, the most recent a 2-1 defeat of VfL Bochum more than three months ago. The ninth-placed Storks would like to improve their home record with a win over the Boys in Brown, of course, and in doing so consolidate their position in the top half of the table. The Boys in Brown, for their part, aim to "go all out" to win away at long last, stressed captain Daniel Buballa.


Photos: Witters


Under Armour
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