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Unpredictable Fürth aiming to upset HSV home form

SpVgg Greuther Fürth are the visitors to the Volksparkstadion on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 1:00pm), with the form of Stefan Leitl’s side very varied over the first eight games of the season. 

Spielvereinigung Greuther Fürth are the next visitors to the Volksparkstadion Saturday lunchtime (kick-off 1:00pm), as the Rothosen aim to enter the international break with momentum and a fourth home win in a row. With Bochum (1-0), Hannover (3-0) and Aue (4-0) having all left the Hanseatic city empty-handed, Stefan Leitl’s side will have their work cut out against a HSV side that seems to particularly perform in front of a raucous home crowd.

Focus on the visitors

Having been formed in 1903 in Fürth, the Spielvereinigung Greuther Fürth was one of the most successful teams in the early stages of the game’s growing popularity in Germany in the first few decades of the 20th Century. Laying on the outskirts of Nuremberg in Bavaria, around 150km north of Munich, ‘Kleeblatt’ (the Shamrocks) became German champions in 1914, 1926 and 1929, and vied with fierce rivals 1. FC Nürnberg for the bragging rights in upper Bavaria during the pre- and post-war periods. However, just as the Bundesliga was formed in 1963, Fürth’s powers began to wane, and have spent the vast majority of the time since then in Germany’s second tier. As such they lead the all-time second division table, with an astounding 1570 points from 1066 games, 69 points ahead of second-placed Alemannia Aachen. Their first-ever season in the Bundesliga in 2012/13 ended in ignominy, as the Green and Whites were relegated without having won a home game, and have been back in the second division, their natural stomping ground ever since. 

Stefan Leitl took over in Upper Bavaria in February 2019, and guided Fürth to a 13th-placed finish by the end of the 2018/19 campaign.  After a disappointing opening day loss to Erzgebirge Aue, the Shamrocks went on a 5-game unbeaten run, defeating St. Pauli, Regensburg and Wiesbaden and drawing against promotion favourites Hannover and Arminia Bielefeld. However, a 2-0 loss in Stuttgart and 3-0 reverse to Holstein Kiel last Sunday have somewhat taken the wind out of the sails, with the loss to 16th-placed Kiel at home particularly disheartening, meaning that the Shamrocks sit in 10th position with 11 points after eight games.


The good start to the season proves that the quality certainly exists in the Fürth ranks, and they can count themselves unlucky to have lost 2-0 during their last away match in Stuttgart, hitting the woodwork three times with the score at 1-0 before a late Philipp Förster effort saw the Green and Whites head home empty-handed. Lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, former Bayern Munich and HSV player Julian Green pulls the strings at the top of the midfield diamond, scoring three times in his first eight outings of the season. Veteran striker Daniel Keita-Ruel may have only be used as a substitute during the past few games, but with three goals as well so far in the league, is Fürth’s joint-best striker alongside Green, and will provide much-needed firepower from the bench if the scores are close heading into the final stages.

Jung to miss out as Heuer Fernandes has late fitness test

Timo Letschert was able to make his league debut for the Rothosen last Saturday in Bavaria, replacing Gideon Jung for the final quarter of an hour after the 25-year-old pulled his hamstring late on in Regensburg. Whilst Jung was able to train with his teammates this week, especially with the depths of options at the centre-back position, with Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Jonas David and Letschert waiting in the wings, Dieter Hecking signalled at Thursday’s press conference that it was most sensible for Jung to sit Saturday’s game out. Goalkeeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes also had problems with a pulled muscle after Monday’s training session, but was able to fully take part in the final training session on Friday lunchtime, and is most likely going to be available for selection come Saturday morning. Ewerton and Christoph Moritz are both nearing comebacks for the first team, whilst Jan Gyamerah remains a long-term injury concern. After a somewhat disappointing result last Saturday in Regensburg, Dieter Hecking will know that a fourth home victory in a row will put his side in a strong position heading into the second international break of the campaign.

Fun facts

Hamburg have only lost one of their competitive games against Fürth, which was in the first round of the DFB Pokal in 1963/64. The eight games since then have seen three Hamburg victories and five draws. 

Lukas Hinterseer particularly enjoys playing the Shamrocks in the second division. Having faced the Green and Whites six times during his career, the Austrian has never lost, scoring six goals in the process, his best tally against any second tier side. 

There are a number of old acquaintances on both sides on Saturday. Mergim Mavraj (2017-18) and Julian Green (2014-15) were one time servants of the Rothosen, whilst Michael Mutzel began his career as a sporting director in Fürth (Dec 2014 – Dec 2015) and Tom Mickel counts the Shamrocks amongst his collection of ex-employers (2013-15).

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