New 1860 boss Alexander Schmidt will lead his team out for their first home game under his leadership tonight in the Allianz Arena. Paderborn are the visitors and although a large crowd isn't expected for this midweek tie, a large amount of attention is on Schmidt to deliver a noticeable improvement in terms of performance.
Paderborn were the surprise package of last season and have picked up where they left off in May. They are unbeaten in seven league matches and they occupy sixth place in the table, two points and two places above 1860.
The Lions first match under Schmidt ended in a 2-2 draw against a good Union Berlin side at the weekend. A positive start for the new coach but he'll be hoping to go one better tonight and register his first victory. Doing that at home in front of 15,000 expectant fans will add a bit of extra sweetness to the result and go some way to justifying his appointment. Schmidt will also be aware of the increasing speculation surrounding Sven-Göran Eriksson and the club after the former England manager was seen at the Union Berlin game on the weekend.
Youngster Stefan Wannenwetsch, a surprise inclusion to the first team line-up at the weekend, is expected to retain his place. "I am very satisfied with Wannenwetsch. He confirmed what I had expected of him" said Schmidt. The 20-year old is competing with Gregorios Makos and Kai Bülow for a starting berth in midfield.
Along with the performance of his side, it's consistency that Schmidt will no doubt be aiming for. In their last six games in all competitions, 1860 have lost three, drawn one and won two. If Schmidt can get his side to pick up regular points, not only will it squash any doubts about his position but it will also push the team towards the top half of the table.