Pre match report
Hot action in the freezing cold
On Saturday afternoon (28.01.17, 3.30 PM), the Rothosen go head to head away to FC Ingolstadt in a real “six-pointer” on Bundesliga matchday 18. Despite temperatures being well below zero, the game promises to be a heated affair with so much at stake for both sides.
The sunny conditions the Rothosen enjoyed at the recent training camp in Dubai could hardly be more different than here, as below zero temperatures have an icy grip on the whole of Germany, but especially where HSV play on Saturday afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be around minus ten degrees on Saturday, but the action is expected to be hot as both sides battle for vital points hoping to retain topflight status as the 16th placed home side entertain the visitors a place below them in the Bundesliga table.
Bobby Wood scores on debut
As the sides met in Hamburg in September last year the HSV man of the hour was Bobby Wood, who opened his scoring account with the Rothosen on his debut. It would have been a fairy tale too had not Ingolstadt substitute Lukas Hinterseer not equalised for the visitors 13 minutes after being brought on. The points were shared on that day but HSV have a good record against Saturday’s hosts in their own back yard, 1:0 (BL 2015/16) and 3:1 (DFB Cup 2008). As the Rothosen won 1-0 in 2015 another debutant hit the target - Michael Gregoritsch scored with a superb free kick to grab all three points for Hamburg at the Audi-Sportpark.
Both of those scoring debutants Wood (4 goals) and Gregoritsch (3 goals and 1 assist) have travelled with the team to Ingolstadt unlike defensive midfielder Albin Ekdal, whose sending off for a second yellow card against Wolfsburg rules him out of Saturday’s game. Rothosen boss Markus Gisdol has to choose someone to fill the void left by him and is not short of alternatives. He told the media at the official pre-match press conference on Thursday this week: “Gideon Jung and Vasilije Janjicic can both play there. There are various possibilities for me to consider.” He could opt for the tried and tested duo Sakai and Ostrzolek. The coach: “We have collected points in the past with that combination in front of our back line.”
There had been a question mark hanging over Müller’s ability to play this week as he recovered from abdominal bruising sustained in the unlucky defeat at VfL Wolfsburg. The huge contingent of travelling HSV will be delighted to hear that after training normally in the final pre-match session he has made the trip with the rest of the lads. Christian Mathenia remains in goal because the game comes a little to early for regular stopper Rene Adler who has progressed well on the injury trail.
Recuperate dropped points in Wolfsburg
Despite losing 0-1 at Wolfsburg last time out, HSV were the better side despite having to play for an hour with a man less for more than an hour. Now the key is to carry on that good work as well as the fine form shown leading up to the winter break. It won’t be easy though as Gisdol pointed out this week as he said: “Since they changed coaches, Ingolstadt have found their way back to former strengths. They play with aggression and switch quickly from defence to attack which makes them tough to play for any opponent. They are a strong side and we have a major hurdle to take on Saturday, but we are well prepared and keen to take something from the game.”
HSV (from): Mathenia, Mickel; Diekmeier, Douglas Santos, Gregoritsch, Holtby, Janjicic, Jatta, Jung, Kostic, Mavraj, N. Müller, Ostrzolek, Papadopoulos, Porath, Sakai, Waldschmidt, Wood
Possible FC Ingolstadt line-up: Hansen - M. Matip, Roger, Bregerie - Hadergjonaj, Suttner - Cohen, Morales - P. Groß, Leckie - Lezcano
Referee: Markus Schmidt (Stuttgart)