Occean to Sea-off Lions
March 16 – On Wednesday TSV1860 Munich travelled to Saxony for their re-scheduled match against struggling Erzgebirge Aue. In a scrappy affair that offered little in the way of good, flowing football both sides dragged out a goalless draw. “We have failed to play football,” said a disappointed Benny Lauth after the match.
Sechzig welcome back star-winger Stefan Aigner for the big game this Saturday afternoon when they host table topping SpVgg Greuther Fürth. Rumoured to be heading to 1. FC Nürnberg in the summer, the 24-year-old missed the mid-week game with the flu but tomorrow he’ll be raring to go and that will be a huge boost for a team that failed to create any serious chances last time out.
Up until last weekend’s defeat away to FSV Frankfurt where they lost 3-1, the Lions had enjoyed an unbeaten run that had stretched back to November 5th last year. Now, after having only collected two points from their last three fixtures, their slim promotion hopes have waned leaving only pride to play for in their remaining 9 games.
Greuther Fürth are in pole position, have the best goal difference in the league and stand one point clear of Eintracht Frankfurt in second place. They have it all to play for and are looking good for promotion to the top flight. The Cloverleaves have registered 13 points from a possible 15 in their last five matches and are sure to be favourites in this encounter, despite being the losing team on each of their last three visits to Munich.
Twice already this season 1860 have beaten the league leaders at the Allianz Arena (Eintracht Frankfurt and Fortuna Dusseldorf) and now they hope to claim a third scalp. “A very strong team is coming to us, but we want to win,” says Munich head coach Reiner Maurer.
He goes on to say, “we need a better than average performance in order to survive against Fürth.” He may well have added cause for concern. Fürth have enjoyed a 7-day rest since beating Aachen last Saturday whilst Sechzig will be playing their third game in 8 days.
In this season’s reverse fixture at The Trolli Arena back in September, The Lions were grossly outclassed by a very physical and well organised Fürth unit. After having defender Kai Bülow dismissed after just 13 minutes of that game, there was always going to be a huge mountain to climb and they eventually lost the match 2-0.
This time Fürth bring even more of a goal threat to Munich in the shape of former Hannover and Schalke striker Gerald Asamoah. The 33-year-old has been an instant hit after being dragged in on a free transfer during the winter break and has already scored 4 goals in 4 league games! Asamoah will compete with Christopher Nöthe and top scorer Olivier Occean (13 goals) for a starting berth.
The added impetus of this being a derby game should nullify the form guide and match these two teams slightly more evenly than the league table suggests. However, it’s difficult to see anything but an away win with Maurer so determined to use his players out of their natural positions, Fürth will only need to bring their usual cogent game to run back home with all three points.
Editor’s Note: Tony Mayger will be tweeting live from the Bavarian derby between 1860 and Fürth. You can follow the action @Tony_SportEagle