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No straying from the path

Holstein Kiel are the visitors to the Millerntor on Sunday (1330 CET). After a long abstinence, the two sides meet again in Hamburg in a game in which the Boys in Brown aim to continue along the path mapped out for them. Let's hit the road, then!

Keep going is the motto for Markus Kauczinski's side ahead of Sunday's game against high-flying Kiel. After the impressive performance in the scoreless draw against current league leaders Nürnberg and the hard-fought 1-0 win in the snow at Ingolstadt, the players are raring to go. Consistency is the magic word. No letting up. No stepping back. Keep going.

Visibility was low in the final minutes at Ingolstadt, when the men in brown and white put every body part on the line to ward off the frantic attempts of the home side to sweep in an equaliser and secure a 1-0 win in the snow. "It was a victory of passion," said a contented Bernd Nehrig in the mixed zone at the Audi Sportpark afterwards. A summary he is more than welcome to provide again and again. Preferably starting on Sunday, when Holstein Kiel leave their calling card at the Millerntor. The only problem is that there are some lads on the other side who will be doing their best to prevent that.

Under Markus Anfang, who took charge in the summer of 2016, the Storks have climbed from the depths of the third division to emerge as promotion contenders in the second. After making a strong start to their first Bundesliga 2 campaign, which saw them top the table for several weeks, Kiel now occupy third place. That said, Sunday's visitors, who boast St. Pauli loanee Marvin Ducksch in their ranks, have not won any of their last ten competitive fixtures, though we hasten to add that just two games of those have ended in defeat.

All the pointers suggest we could be in for an excellent game, then. Both teams are desperate to claim all three points. The ground will be packed to the rafters for Kiel's first visit to the Millerntor in over ten years. And after the creditable 1-0 away win in the reverse fixture, no one will have any objections if Markus Kauczinski's side continue resolutely on their path and send the Storks home with an empty bundle once again.