Tomorrow TSV 1860 welcome FC St. Pauli to The Allianz Arena in what is considered to be a very important match for both clubs at this early stage of the season.
St. Pauli have started terribly, registering just a single victory from their first 10 league games. They have recently improved their form and are unbeaten in their last 3 league matches but they come into this game on the back of a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Stuttgart in the DFB Pokal last Wednesday.
The Lions, in contrast, chalked up a cup win over Berliner AK last Tuesday by an identical scoreline. Moritz Stoppelkamp had a fantastic game, scoring a brace and assiting Ismael Blanco for the Lions third.
The home side will have to do without the services of star centre half Guillermo Vallori after he picked up his 5th yellow card in 1860's last league outing against Energie Cottbus. Kai Buelow is expected to fill in for the Spaniard in central defence alongside Necat Aygun.
One former St. Pauli player that left Hamburg for the Bavarian capital this season is full back Moritz Volz. Volz spent two years with the Buccaneers and also enjoyed 5 successful seasons in the English Premier League with Fulham. One little known fact is that in 2006 Volz scored the 15,000th Premier League goal when he netted for Fulham against local rivals Chelsea.
Tony Mayger caught up with Volz after his training session today:
TM: You're playing against your former club tomorrow, how do you feel about that?
MV: I'm looking forward to seeing the lads and of course, the game itself. It's an important one for us. The last few results haven't gone well for us and we want to make sure we stay within touching distance of the teams above us. We know that St. Pauli have a dangerous team because they have lots of good individual players and they've recently picked up some form so I'm sure it'll be a tough game for us but also a very important one too.
TM: They were also tipped, alongisde 1860, as promotion favourites at the start of the season...
MV: They probably weren't favourites but they were part of a group of six or seven teams that people thought could go up. They had a bad start, they've had a change of manager but as I said before they've picked up form. They still have a lot of players that were part of last season's team, one which finished level on points with Dusseldorf, who got promoted. This all points to it being a tough game.
TM: Do you know which position you will be playing tomorrow, left or right back? (There was a rumour that Volz could play right back if Schindler and Wojtkowiak were unavailable)
MV: I don't really want to give anything away in regards to the formation, you can probably understand that (laughs). I know which position I'll be playing.
TM: Will it be your usual position?
MV: Perhaps yeah (both laugh).
TM: I read today that your boss Reiner Maurer says that of all the new summer signings, you've settled in the best. How do you feel about that, have you really settled into Munich that easily?
MV: I wouldn't say easy from my point of view but he can probably say that because, you know, I didn't have any injuries and I didn't have any language problems. I have settled in well. I'm enjoying my time here in Munich and I think I'm at a very good football club, so there are lots of things to enjoy. I'm obviously pleased that the gaffer is happy with me settling in as quickly as I have..
TM: Is it true that you left St. Pauli because they offered you a 1-year contract and you got a three year contract here?
MV: They offered me a 2-year deal. That was certainly one of the reasons but there were others as well.
TM: But no regrets?
MV - No regrets, no. I tend not to regret my decisions and I had a good time there. I'm still in touch with people which shows that I had a happy time but I'm happy here as well, so as I've said, there is no need for me to have regrets.
TM: Do you still follow (the results of) Fulham and the Premier League?
MV - I still follow Fulham and Arsenal. I keep an eye out depending on our own schedule.