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REVERSE THE TREND

FC St. Pauli close the current round of matches when Holstein Kiel come to the Millerntor on Monday evening (kick-off: 2030 CET). The visitors claimed their first win of the season against Karlsruhe last week (2-1), but the Boys in Brown are still waiting. That will hopefully change against the Storks.

After a gap of ten years without a competitive fixture between the two clubs from 2007 to 2017, they are now in their third season together at this level. The last two seasons have produced some thrilling encounters, with two wins for either side.

The Boys in Brown did the double over Monday's opponents two years ago, winning 1-0 at Kiel thanks to a Johannes Flum strike and 3-2 at home, Richard Neudecker (2) and Christopher Avevor getting on the scoresheet. Last season, it was the other way around, with Kiel winning 1-0 at the Millerntor and 2-1 at Holstein Stadium. All four matches were tight, hard-fought affairs and Monday evening's clash is not likely to be any different.

Jos Luhukay's men go into the game looking to return to winning ways, of course, and build on the performance at VfB Stuttgart last time out when they more than matched the promotion favourites for over an hour and only succumbed to defeat in the final minute. "The performance was good, the result disappointing," was the common tenor in the dressing room afterwards. So when the final whistle sounds at around 2220 CET on Monday evening, the players will not only want to celebrate a decent performance, but also their first win of the season.

That will be no easy task against André Schubert's side, though that can be said of any opponents in the second division. Kiel will be looking for their third win a row against the Boys in Brown, and if anyone knows how good it is to win at the Millerntor, it has to be Kiel's assistant coach Fabian Boll, who spent 14 years in brown and white before ending his career in 2016. A special homecoming for him, then, though that will be of little concern to the Boys in Brown, many of whom are former teammates of Boll, during the 90 minutes.

Photo: Witters

 

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