1860 Seek To Extend Undefeated Streak Against Erratic Kaiserslautern
1860 Munich battle FC Kaiserslautern on Sunday in the Allianz Arena in a great opportunity for manager Friedhelm Funkel and his players to beat a direct opponent for the top spots of the 2. Bundesliga. Quentin Guéguen previews the game.
The Lions still hope they can reach one of the top three spots and why not. They are still in the group of eight, nine teams that are dreaming of top-flight football. However, with only eight matches to go before the end of the season, every dropped point is crucial.
1860 are coming into this game full of confidence. They are unbeaten in four games now and they crushed VfR Aalen with a 4-0 win during their last game at home. Tomasov and Hein will be Funkel’s only absentees as his side look to provide for their Japanese goal machine Yuya Osako who has been unstoppable since arriving in Munich (4 goals in 6 games, including a late equaliser last week in Aue).
“I believe that Kaiserslautern’s expectations are much higher than ours,” said Funkel. Kaiserslautern were one of the favorites for promotion this season and until recently, they were living up to the hype. A great win in the quarterfinals of the German Cup was the beginning of their troubles as a three-game losing streak, including a loss in Cottbus, saw ‘Lautern tumble down the standings. Nevertheless, they are still a dangerous side. The 4-4-2 used by manager Kosta Runjaic makes them a constant threat, especially with Simon Zoller and Mo Idrissou in attack (the latter recently announced that he will not be staying at the Betzenberg after the end of the season).
1860 will have to stay calm and be patient against a Kaiserslautern side that doesn’t score that many goals. The midfield battle will, as always, have to be won and the role of the 18-year-old youngster Julian Weigl, who has gained the confidence of his manager, will be vital in the middle of the park (alongside Stark). Simply put, 1860 have to control the ball. The Lions have the chance to draw level on points with their opponents if they win, and there surely won’t be any friendship on the field as the Kaiserslautern fans, long-time friends with their 1860 counterparts, come to town.