Day of Reck-oning
Bundesliga 2nd Division Preview: 1860 Munich vs. MSV Duisburg
Grünwalder Strasse, Munich, April 10 – If you talk to the average man on the street about a clash between Lions and Zebras he’ll assume you’re referring to some kind of gruesome David Attenborough wildlife documentary from the Serengeti. On Wednesday evening though, Munich’s Lions and the Zebras from Duisburg commence battle at the Allianz Arena in the second tier of the German Bundesliga.
MSV Duisburg are enjoying a change of fortunes recently and are a team determined to finish in the top half of the table. Last season’s DFB Pokal finalists were expected to be promotion contenders this season but those ambitions soon started to fade when after 5 games they had registered a miserly 2 points and just a single victory from the opening 10 matches.
By October the board had had enough, coach Milan Sasic was replaced and Oliver Reck took charge. Reck’s first game in charge was at home to 1860 in the reverse fixture which they lost 0-3. This time Duisburg are the visitors to the Lion’s den and without a defeat in their last 5 games, they will be confident of avenging last year’s thrashing.
The hosts, 1860 are preparing for a mass exodus of players in the summer so it’s anyone’s guess who will be asked to play, now that Maurer knows promotion is far beyond reach. Too many recent slip ups have cost “Sechzig” their chance despite the fact that they performed quite well during the winter months.
Necat Aygun and Stefan Aigner are injury doubts but are expected to pass late fitness tests. After receiving a red card in the 2-2 draw away to Paderborn last weekend, Kai Bulow will miss this and the next game through suspension. No great loss there because Dominik Stahl and Collin Benjamin are more than capable of filling in alongside Daniel Bierofka if coach Reiner Maurer still refuses to allow Maximilian Nicu to play in a central role supporting the 2 strikers.
Daniel Halfar is once again on the bench and could be used in the second half again. Having recently returned from back injury Maurer needs to be careful not to over exert the 24-year old, especially as he’ll be relying on him to provide the width once Aigner has left for Nuremburg at the end of the season.