Three easy points for MSV on home soil
Tim Albutat and Mark Flekken are still featuring on Duisburg’s list of absentees, but there have been no more injury concerns for coach Ilija Gruev.
St. Pauli’s Marc Hornschuh, Ryo Miyaichi, Clemens Schoppenhauer, Christopher Buchtmann and Bernd Nehrig are still absent.
Injured/unavailable: Tim Albutat (knee), Mark Flekken (pulled muscle)
Injured/unavailable: Marc Hornschuh (back), Clemens Schoppenhauer (shoulder), Ryo Miyaichi (knee), Christopher Buchtmann (adductor), Bernd Nehrig (calf)
MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN
Duisburg’s poor form in March and at the beginning of April has ultimately cost them a place in the promotion playoffs. In week 22, a 2-2 home draw against Bielefeld took the Zebras within only two points behind third-placed Holstein Kiel. However, since then, things have been going rapidly downhill for MSV, with only three wins, three draws and six defeats in the 12 following matches. After drawing 2-2 at relegation candidates Greuther Furth last weekend, Duisburg are now in eighth on 45 points.
St. Pauli sealed a precious three points at Millerntor Stadium last Sunday. They looked dead and buried in terms of survival after three successive defeats, but back-to-back home wins have given them a lifeline in 2. Bundesliga and have now secured their survival. Those six points – thanks to a 3-0 win over Greuther Furth and a 1-0 victory against Bielefeld – have lifted Markus Kauczinski’s men out of the red zone into tenth.
St. Pauli have won only twice away from home since early October and I believe the home team will be too strong for them at Schauinslandreisen Arena on Sunday. I’ll be backing a Duisburg win in this one.
SECOND PREDICTION: HILO – HIGH
Duisburg have been scoring a fair amount of goals of late, with nine netted in the last three games, and that looks set to continue here with the visit of St. Pauli. However, the visitors are capable in attack, with four netted in their last two matches, and they should be able to find the net too. A high-scoring match is on the cards.
HEAD TO HEAD
Duisburg have not beaten St. Pauli in their last 12 league fixtures since 2003, recording eight defeats and four draws. Overall, Duisburg have the edge on their home ground though, with six wins, one draw and four defeats.