Munich - After somehow keeping the wolf from the door during their infamous recent past 1860 Munich will hope to extend their current feel-good factor as they entertain local rivals FC Ingolstadt Sunday afternoon at the Allianz Arena in their last home fixture of a turbulent campaign. Kickoff at 13:30.
Jordanian investor Hasan Ismaik is waiting in the wings armed with what is believed to be a Eur15 million treasure chest to buy 49% of the ailing club and save the Lions from possible extinction.
Potential stumbling blocks to the deal include a vast array of creditors (including noisy neighbour Bayern Munich who are owed EUR 2.1 million) and the German Football League (DFL) , who have also yet to approve the takeover.
Rumours of Ismaik´s potential takeover seem to have transformed the Lions recent form on the pitch. 1860 have won three home games in a row, scoring 12 goals in the process, including a comfortable 3-0 victory against promotion-chasing Greuther Fürth. Confidence would have sky-rocketed further after a tremendous away success in the Olympic Stadium against 2nd division champions-elect Hertha Berlin.
Originally founded way back in 1848, the home side perhaps carry more of a burden of expectation than their local rivals from just up the motorway. The visitors were only founded in 2004 and have never beaten the Lions.
This could be the last opportunity for home fans to see ace strikers Kevin Volland and Benny Lauth in action for the Lions. Volland will return to Hoffenheim after his current loan spell expires and former German international Lauth´s future is still up in the air. Top Scorer Lauth has notched 16 league goals and 1860 really need to make every effort to retain his supreme finishing skills if they are serious about a promotion attempt next season.
Experienced coach Benno Möhlmann has done a tremendous job turning round FCI fortunes, who looked nailed-on for relegation at the winter break. The visitors have comfortably avoided the drop with two games remaining on the back of a club record unbeaten 9 game run.
A former Lions favourite returns in the shape of former German international Andreas Görlitz. Bayern Munich paid their local rivals EUR 2.5 million for the 29-year-old defender´s services in 2004. After years of suffering injury hell and having seemingly disappeared into obscurity, Görlitz seems to be rejuvenated at Ingolstadt.
1860 coach Reiner Maurer has done a solid job in trying circumstances and has recently extended his contract. "I am hoping for a 30,000 crowd and a great atmosphere. The team deserves this," said Maurer.
Second-choice goalkeeper Phillip Tschauner is set for a farewell appearance in front of the Lions faithful. "I think the coach wants to thank me for my five years at the club, it´s a lovely gesture," said Tschauner, who has been linked with St.Pauli.