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HEART AND CHARACTER NEEDED AGAINST RESILIENT SANDHAUSEN

SV Sandhausen are the visitors to the Millerntor on Sunday (1330 CET). After the 1-1 draw at VfL Osnabrück last weekend, the Boys in Brown aim to return to winning ways on matchday 8.

The last home game at the Millerntor is still fresh in the memory. A major goosebump evening! Ninety minutes of tension, excitement, passion and total ecstasy. A night to cherish. Leaving victory in the derby to one side for a moment, however, the task now is to stay on track and build on their run of four games without defeat.

SV Sandhausen are now familiar visitors to the Millerntor, this being their eighth season in the second division. The last meeting in Hamburg took place almost a year ago to the day. It turned out to be a game that kept the nerves jangling to the end, with victory only coming in time added on. Sami Allagui made it 2-1 in the 91st minute, and Christopher Buchtmann added a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The return fixture in March did not go so well for us, however. A week after the disastrous 4-0 home defeat in the derby, Sandhausen sent us packing by the same scoreline, with all four goals coming between the 34th and 49th minutes. Andrew Wooten, Fabian Schleusener and Philipp Förster (2) were on target that day. Fortunately, these players won't be a threat on Sunday, as they all left the club in summer.

It could be said we have a little score to settle with Sandhausen, then. And the statistics are on our side. The Boys in Brown have only lost one meeting at the Millerntor – on 3 October 2015, i.e. nearly four years ago. St. Pauli old boy Aziz Bouhaddouz was still playing for SV Sandhausen at the time and completed a 3-1 victory for his side in the 77th minute. Bouhaddouz returned to the club in summer, but he and his club will hopefully draw a blank on Sunday.

Yet that will be easier said than done against Uwe Koschinat's team on Sunday. Going into this week's round of matches, Sandhausen sit fifth in the table on 11 points and are thus one of the surprise packages this season after finishing 15th last term, three points above the relegation play-off place. Few will have expected things to go so well. Sandhausen's record this season reads three wins, two draws and two defeats. Goalkeeper Martin Fraisl has been beaten just six times – only HSV have conceded fewer goals.

Sandhausen may have started well but that's no reason not to go into the game full of confidence, of course. The lads have gelled into a unit in recent weeks, showing heart and character and a desire to fight for every ball right to the end. We are a force on home turf – and the Boys in Brown will do their utmost to send SV Sandhausen back home empty-handed.

COME ON YOU BOYS IN BROWN!

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INFO FOR ANYONE USING UNDERGROUND LINES U1 AND U3

If you're planning to travel to the ground on the U1 or U3, please note that the underground will be closed between Kellinghusenstraße and Stephansplatz (U1) / Kellinghusenstraße and Schlump (U3) from Friday evening to Sunday. A rail replacement service will be in operation.

 

Photo: Witters

 

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