Grünwalder Strasse, Munich - After a relatively successful start to the season, 1860 Munich have found the going tough and have failed to record any points for 3 games. In stark contrast, their opponents on Friday night are on a roll of 4 straight wins and are undefeated in 7 league games. More worryingly for Lions fans is that Roger Schmidt's side have conceded just 1 goal in their last 6 matches!
We are of course talking about SC Paderborn 07 who are the visitors to the Allianz Arena on Friday night (kickoff 18:00 CET). A fairly small club of minimal success based roughly midway between Dortmund and Hannover in North Rhein-Westphalia. A club that spends most of its time drifting between the 2nd Bundesliga and the lower leagues. They are riding high this season and occupy 5th place in the table going into tonight's match against TSV.
"Last year Paderborn were the first team that managed to defeat us at home (0-1)," recalls Lions' head coach Reiner Maurer. "Then we lost to them away (2-3) so of course we want to get a good result but it will be tough. They have in their squad some very dangerous players, Sören Brandy for example. In addition to him there are other threats such as Einis Alushi and Markus Krösche who are always dangerous in the air."
1860 will be wondering when their luck is going to change. Until Dynamo Dresden smashed 4 goals past Gabor Kiraly 19 days ago, Maurer's side had won all their home games convincingly. They had made a fortress out of the Allianz Arena up until then but now that the winter months are with us, large cracks have started to appear in their defences. The outlook for the game doesn't look very promising and so all 11 players will need to dig deep if they are to avoid the same kind of battering that Dynamo inflicted upon them.
"We are looking forward to this game and we want to win," stated Maurer. "We have to press them right from the start and if we lose some balls in the midfield we have to get them back as soon as we can."
Editor's note: Tony Mayger will be at the match tonight reporting the action as it happens and updates will appear via the Twitter feed on the main sports page or follow him at Tony_TMT_sports.
Simone Sperduto contributed to this article.