Hoffenheim make special guest appearance at St. Pauli.

World premiere in the Bundesliga as Hoffenheim make a guest appearance at St. Pauli. In the 47-year history of the Bundesliga, these two teams have never met each other. Not only that but it has also been put in the primetime spot during the 2nd match day on Saturday with kick off at 18:30 in the Millerntor. Following the 4-1 win over Bremen for 1899 and a 3-1 win for St. Pauli against Freiburg the league leader faces off against its' closest rival when they meet for the first time ever in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

First meets second

The early season form of these two teams has been an enjoyable gimmick for the fans, players and media. Ralf Rangnick, however, has maintained a realistic view on proceedings so far. "The table after day 1 bears little significance on the whole season, but it was good to start the season well in order to remove some of the pressure going into this game," said the head coach who recognises the threat posed by the newly promoted side. "St. Pauli like to emphasise their strengths and focus on their style of play in every phase of the match. They will do the same against us. We also have to bear in mind the atmosphere in the stadium, which we are familiar with from our days in the 2. Bundesliga."

Obasi and Jaissle are the only ones missing

Rangnick has no new injury worries ahead of the game in Hamburg. On the other hand Andreas Ibertsberger and new signing Sebastian Rudy are giving the trainer other things to worry about: "Right now it's not easy to get into the squad. It's all about making a good impression in training and hoping it's better than your competitions." Meanwhile Vedad Ibisevic (calf) and Marvin Compper (knee) both participated in light training only earlier this week to deal with their minor knocks. They both still have a chance of making the starting line-up. The story reads differently for Chinedu Obasi and Mathias Jaissle as they are both still on the road to recovery. Rangnick did not feel comfortable risking the 22-year old Jaissle while Obasi was still in pain when he took part in a light jogging session. It should be clearer in the next week as to when the two players will return.

Rudy inclusion still unclear

Newcomer Sebastian Rudy has completed 3 training sessions with his new team but that does not guarantee him a spot in the squad going to Hamburg. "The first few days were used to get to know everyone. Ideally it's enough for him to be in the squad. However, we may also wait until the Schalke match before we call upon him," said Rangnick.

New signings still possible

The transfer window is due to close on Tuesday 31st August at 12'o'clock and trainer Ralf Rangnick has not ruled out the possibility of more transfer activity: "We still have some players in mind and it's up to them if they want to commit to us or not," says the 52-year old. "We are lacking in the wider areas upfront and may look to strengthen the squad." However, panic buys will not happen at 1899. "We will not sign players where the price/performance ratio is not right for us," stated Rangnick.




Download Now!
Print Page to top