Pre-match report: Hamburger SV – FC St. Pauli

It’s time for the derby. Hamburger SV faces FC St. Pauli. Again. We assumed HSV being promoted last season so that we do not have to defeat the title of being the town’s champions. Such an annoying duty for the FCSP. So we’ll just do it again. But to be fair, to defend the title is nothing we’ll easily do with our left butt cheek while passing by. It’s going to be a pretty hard job.
(Cover picture by Peter Boehmer

FC St. Pauli: who’s able to play, who misses out?

Let’s start to shed a gaze on who’s, unfortunately, going to miss out: Ryo MiyaichiChristopher BuchtmannGuido BurgstallerJannes Wieckhoff and Luis Coordes did already miss the last match(es) and will not participate in the town’s championship. Also, Philipp Ziereis missed this week’s training, he already had some visible issues in his thigh against Darmstadt. At the press-conference, Timo Schultz mentioned in this regards that “there isn’t any structural defect but there’s definitely a lot pulling his muscle.“. This would be a bitter loss with regard to the physique necessary to defend a forward such as Simon Terodde. However, at least Christopher Avevor is back on deck and a candidate to directly cover for Ziereis. Also, with every further week of training, James Lawrence becomes another option, however, this comes with a certain uncertainty as he’s also lacking match practice for quite some time now. Nevertheless, James would be incredibly important due to his physique and his leadership skills in relation to organising the team.

James Lawrence – An option for the derby?
(Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images/via OneFootball)

Hamburger SV: who’s able to play, who misses out?

The staffing situation of HSV is far more relaxed: Only Rick van Drongelen and Bakery Jatta will definitely miss the derby. Bakery Jatta had just recovered from a torn muscle fibre, but now he has issues with his adductors which already forced him to miss out in Würzburg. I am neither a practitioner nor a physiotherapist but issues with the adductors after a torn muscle fibre seem like the pure classics of  “back at training too early”. Rick van Drongelen misses since he tore his ligament during the last match of the previous season (19/20) (I have to admit that I felt tempted to name van Drongelen as a missing player of the FCSP, due to his last appearances within the derbies….).
Both Jeremy Dudziak and Amadou Onana have recovered. And both were mentioned as an option for Friday by HSV-coach Daniel Thioune at the press conference. Well, that doesn’t sound as if they will make it into the starting line-up, however, I do think so with regards to  Dudziak. Also, Toni Leistner could play a role after the end of his two-match-suspension.

Performed a remarkable season start with the HSV: Daniel Thioune.
(Photo by Cathrin Mueller/Getty Images/via OneFootball)

What’s on offer by the HSV?

Pheeeew… several things. Five wins at the start of the season send a clear signal. Remarkably, the HSV played very flexible tactic-wise but also it appeared as if their play is not depending on any particular players. But there’s another benefit for me personally with regards to the derby: I can read the tactical analyses of HSV by Tobias Escher  (see here for the matches against Düsseldorf, Paderborn, Fürth, Aue & Würzburg). And those analyses indicate that HSV did already play almost all of the possible tactic formations. Against Düsseldorf a 4-4-1-1 and 4-2-3-1, against Paderborn a 4-4-1-1 (which was actually just chaotic), in Fürth a 4-4-2 (flat), which was a  stealth diamond in midfield and against Aue a 3-4-3 and a 5-2-3. All clear?! So, let’s just keep the 3-4-3 (offensive) and the 5-2-3 (defensive) in mind, which were also played as such in the last match against Würzburg.
Completely contrary compared to the match against Darmstadt, which didn’t change their formation during this season at all, the HSV already tried a lot. This is probably due to the fact that Daniel Thioune aims to prepare his team for the respective opponents in the best possible way. But especially after the convincing 3-0 against Aue, he played with the same formation against Würzburg. So, from my perspective, it’s possible that we’re going to see the 3-4-3/5-2-3 in the derby as well.
At the press-conference, Timo Schultz stated with regard to the expected formation of HSV: “They are flexible, they can play backlines of three as well as of four. But as the players mostly remain the same regardless of the respective formation, I think this is not much of an issue“ so that he instantly clarified that he cares more about the principles and the individual ways of play of HSV. 
So: When building up, HSV focuses on overloading the respective flanks. Against Würzburg this was done on the right flank which was mostly overloaded with three players. At the same time, Tim Leibold got offered options every now and then through side transitions. However, HSV also showed that their focus on the wings isn’t permanently stuck to so that problems with counter-pressing might occur. 
But regardless of the chosen formation, one has to admit that there’s a remarkable individual quality in the squad. Of course, Simon Terodde as a forward is a clear challenge for every backline of the 2nd division. I personally am quite impressed by Moritz Heyer, who followed Thioune from Osnabrück to Hamburg and who instantly took over a central role in the defence. And Tim Leibold is probably the best left wingback of the division, even though he will probably not play from the beginning, and Amadou Onana adds a creative element to the play of HSV which was definitely lacking during the previous season.

Possible Line up

During the current season, both coaches proved so far that they like to change the formation of their teams. A likely bet about the probable line up is thus almost impossible (however, I tried to predict a line up anyway). If both teams aim to show their play of the two previous matches in the derby as well, then, two backlines of three will meet on the pitch. The FCSP could possibly interpret their formation a bit more defensive compared to the match against Darmstadt, if they want to react to  Narey who rather thinks he’s a winger than a wingback (hence, it’s likely that Paqarada will begin instead of Dittgen).

Of course, based on the situation of the table as well as the player’s salaries, HSV is the clear favourite of this match. However, especially at the beginning of the last two matches, FCSP clearly proved to be able to dominate matches. This will also be aimed for by HSV which then inevitable has to deal with the transition qualities of FCSP. But what does something like this say about a derby? Compared to other matches, this match will definitely not be easily decided just based on the better system. If the FCSP proved one thing for certain during the season of 20/21, it’s that they play their matches with huge amounts of ambition, lifeblood and courage as well as self-consciousness. And if they’ll show these qualities in the upcoming match, then this derby will add some more heroes to the hall of fame of the history of the town championship. And these heroes will wear the colours of brown and white.

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We will remain the number 1 of town  – Forza!

// Tim (Translated by Arne)

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