It's a duel on the pitch tonight, and an extremely important one for both protagonists: SpVgg Unterhaching welcomes SV Waldhof Mannheim at 7 p.m. to the top game of two promotion candidates who, just two weeks ago, were chasing the leaders MSV Duisburg on point and goal.
Unterhaching - Another two weeks earlier, there was another skirmish between the clubs or their leadership. The climber was one of the most vehement supporters of a season break and brought the most, loudest and most absurd pretexts to the table in the choir of the break-up supporters. SpVgg boss Manfred Schwabl, on the other hand, was one of the first and most clearly to play the opposite role and joined the group to continue the season.
The ball is rolling again now, in the post-Corona era contacts between the managers of both clubs will probably not arise anyway. Could you look into each other's eyes from the sometimes clear words from back then? The fact that the Third League "did not give a good picture" at the time and Schwabl publicly asked itself "whether we are actually still in professional sports if you no longer want to measure yourself against the competition" was obviously addressed to the SV Waldhof bosses, "They tell something different every day".
As is well known, the Mannheim plus relegation group has not prevailed, the athletic strong climber still has to measure himself on the pitch to advance through to the second division. And the team of coach Bernhard Trares is on a better path than the SpVgg. Although the Mannheimers did not come out of the Corona break as impressively as they had slipped in, they still collected six points with two wins and are seventh in the table, just one point behind fourth place, which currently means the relegation place. Haching is one point worse and is ranked ninth.
Anything forward is still possible, head coach Claus Schromm believes, despite the four games in a row now without a win and with just one point in yield: "The situation has not changed much and it will remain that way." However, other slips could happen now , because fewer and fewer game days remain until the final settlement, but have a massive impact on the chances of staying at the top. "It's also clear," Schromm admits, "that we have to win some of the six other games now if we want to be at the front until the end."
The crash over the end of the season or not, which ominously pushed today's opponents into two opposite corners, should not matter. "We only focus on the sporting," says Schromm, "it doesn't matter when it comes to the points that can be won." And: "Regardless of whether players were on short-time work or with team training a little earlier or later started, ”everything has now settled.
Christoph Greger will probably return to the SpVgg team, who missed the 3-3 win in Zwickau due to muscular problems. If possible, that should also stabilize the defensive again. Because "the mistakes we make, and some of them were outrageous, are currently being punished mercilessly," said Haching's head coach. "We played two good 90 minutes ahead, but unfortunately not when we didn't have the ball." In the first leg, SpVgg celebrated a 3-0 win in Mannheim, which would have been the first home win after the restart now urgently needed against the promoted. Waldhof comes to the sports park with two losses against Halle and Bayern Munich II.
SpVgg: Mantl - Schwabl, Winkler, Greger, Garuschopf - Fuchs, J. Müller - Heinrich, Bigalke - Schröter, Hufnagel.