18:30 (CEST), Monday 14th August, Benteler Arena (Paderborn, Germany)
Both Paderborn and St. Pauli have been in great form to start their campaigns as they go head-to-head at the Benteler Arena on Monday Night.
Paderborn have had an awful past three seasons where they have been relegated from all three professional tiers in German football. But thanks to 1860 Munich failing to pay their fees for the 3.Liga, Paderborn were given a lifeline and so far have taken advantage of that as they currently sit atop of 3. Liga.
St. Pauli have gone through a turbulent 12 months. After finishing fourth in the 2015/16 campaign, the club spent most of last season at the foot of the standings in 2. Bundesliga, but the Hamburg club from the red light district stormed home in the second half of the season to finish seventh.
During the off-season Ewald Lienen resigned as manager to become the technical director of the club and his replacement comes in the form of Olaf Janßen.
Last Time Out
Paderborn 5-0 SG Sonnenhof Großaspach
Paderborn were in a buoyant mood as they hosted Sonnenhof Großaspach on matchday four of the 3. Liga.
Massih Wassey began the shower of goals with a delightful free-kick to give Paderborn the lead before Ben Zolinski joined the party with two goals in six minutes to give the hosts a 3-0 lead heading into the break. Zolinski has four goals this campaign.
Striker Sven Michel scored his third of the campaign when he made it four for Paderborn on 51 minutes and his strike partner Dennis Srbeny made it five just after the hour mark. The dominant display from Paderborn sees them leapfrog to the top of the standings.
St. Pauli 2-2 Dynamo Dresden
St. Pauli looked to make it two wins from two as they hosted the Monday night fixture against Dynamo Dresden. The hosts started strongly and opened the scoring on 22 minutes thanks to Christopher Buchtmann’s right footed strike.
However, the lead lasted all but seven minutes when Rico Benatelli set-up Marco Hartmann to score well past Robert Himmelmann.
In the second half St. Pauli once again took the lead through Buchtmann, which made it three for the season for him. In fact, Buchtmann has all of St. Pauli’s goals this season.
However, lightning struck twice as Dresden brought it back to level terms as Lucas Röser tapped in from close range for the points to be shared.
Manager Steffen Baumgart has made an immediate impact at Paderborn and will be hoping to claim the scalp of St. Pauli in the cup.
Only one injury to note for Paderborn with former Schalke academy player Pascal Itter out until September with a ruptured Cruciate Ligament. From the side that won 5-0 on the weekend, an unchanged line-up is to be expected.
St. Pauli Lineup
Olaf Janßen has almost a full squad to choose from as they make the 220 km journey south to Paderborn.
The only injury comes in the form of former Arsenal man Ryo Miyaichi who is out until the new year. The shape will remain as a 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield with Christopher Buchtmann going box to box. Changes are very unlikely from Janßen at this stage.
Key Battle: Massih Wassey vs Christopher Buchtmann
Christopher Buchtmann has been in excellent form this season, scoring all of St. Pauli’s goals this season. The central midfielder has been playing in advanced positions up the park to great success for St. Pauli.
His direct opponent is Canadian-German Massih Wassey. The midfielder joined Paderborn this summer from Borussia Dortmund II and has been a key piece for the club this season.
Wassey is an attacking midfielder by trade, but this season the former Canadian International has found himself in deeper roles in midfield with great effect contributing a goal and assist in all four appearances.
It’s a pivotal battle in midfield and if Wassey can limit Buchtmann’s production, it will go a long way to helping Paderborn steal a result. If Buchtmann gets on top, St. Pauli will win.
Striker stand up
As has been mentioned, St. Pauli only have one goal scorer this season with Christopher Buchtmann netting three times in two league appearances.
This season, St. Pauli are playing Aziz Bouhaddouz and new signing Sami Allagui who came from Hertha Berlin in the summer.
The partnership has struggled, but the cup fixture could be the opportunity the two need find their scoring boots. If St. Pauli are to push for promotion and progress through to the next round, they need Allagui and Bouhaddouz to start scoring as soon as possible.
Two sides of Michel
Padeborn’s Sven Michel had a less than ideal season last time out. In 26 appearances in the third tier the striker only bagged five goals and an assist as Paderborn were relegated.
With relegation put on hold thanks 1860 Munich, Michel has come out firing this season nearly eclipsing his goal scoring efforts from the year before and tripling his assist totals.
With Michel in form, Paderborn have stormed to the top of the 3. Liga standings and lead the division goals scored so far with 14. Michel will be a player to keep an eye on in this clash.
PREDICTION: Paderborn 1-2 St. Pauli
This will be an interesting clash and certainly one to stream with both sides playing very attractive football so far this season.
Paderborn need to limit the influence of Christopher Buchtmann whilst St. Pauli need their strikers to hit the back of the net.
I feel Paderborn will have patches where they will dictate the play, but St. Pauli will come home strong and eliminate the 3. Liga club out of the DFB Pokal.
Paderborn or St. Pauli? Who will progress? Let us know in the comments section below.
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