Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Football
  2. Bundesliga 2

FC St. Pauli on brink of Bundesliga return: Kiezkicker 17/10 to beat rivals Hamburg and seal promotion

FC St. Pauli are on the brink of securing a return to the Bundesliga for the first time since 2011 and where better to achieve it than in the backyard of your bitter cross-city rivals.

Victory against Hamburg on Friday evening will seal St. Pauli's promotion into Germany's top flight and put them in pole position to secure their first league title in 47 years.

Die Kiezkicker are priced at 17/10 to get the better of their old foes, while a draw - which could still be enough to win promotion if Fortuna Dusseldorf fail to FC Nurnberg - is 13/5.

(Odds will display when market is available)

Bundesliga II

St. Pauli have been revitalised under the stewardship of Fabian Hürzeler.

The Houston-born head coach has been a revelation since succeeding former boss Timo Schulz on an interim basis in December 2022. Within two weeks, he was offered the role on a permanent basis, thus making him the youngest head coach in the division at 29 years old.

At the time, he didn't even have his UEFA Pro Licence - a coaching certification required for anyone who wishes to manage a football club in the top tier of a European nation. Hürzeler eventually obtained his UEFA Pro Licence in April 2023, which coincided with St. Pauli embarking on a club record winning streak of 10 consecutive matches.

Hürzeler's transformation of St. Pauli from relegation candidates to play-off competitors set the foundations for their success this campaign and they started this term in similarly remarkable fashion, going unbeaten across their opening 20 matches.

Holstein Kiel, who St. Pauli defeated 5-1 in September, have kept them honest throughout.

When the Hamburg-based club endured a wobble at the start of April after back-to-back defeats to Karlsruher SC and SV Elversburg, Kiel overhauled them at the summit. Their ascension is impressive in its own right, with the northern German club closing in on reaching the Bundesliga for the very first time.

St. Pauli reclaimed top spot as they returned to the winning trail with victories over Hannover 96 and Hansa Rostock. Promotion will be achieved if they defeat Hamburg at the Volksparkstadion, a venue they were last triumphant at in 2020.

Die Kiezkicker have traditionally lived in the shadow of the city's big club but times are changing. St. Pauli have won five of the last nine derby meetings and are now set to finish above the six-time German champions for the first time in history.

Where St. Pauli are on the up, Hamburg are bracing themselves for another season in the second tier, though they're not the only fallen giant; just glance at Schalke and Hertha Berlin.

Familiar names

UK football fans may recognise some of the names that feature prominently for St. Pauli.

Former Celtic and Hull City midfielder Jackson Irvine relocated to Hamburg in 2021 and was named club captain at the start of the current campaign following the departure of Leart Paqarada.

The Socceroos star has been an influential figure at the heart of Hürzeler's midfield, contributing six goals and seven assists over the course of the season.

Supporters of Bolton Wanders and Solihull Moors will be aware of Oladapo Afolayan, who joined St. Pauli for a fee of £500,000 in January 2023. Afolayan was Hürzeler's first acquisition and the winger has evolved impressively since moving to the Millerntor, demonstrating his versatility in attack.

Other figures include former Norwich City and Huddersfield Town winger Danel Sinani and Crystal Palace midfielder Scott Banks, though the on-loan midfielder cruelly suffered an ACL injury at the start of the season.

Bundesliga beckons

Promotion to the top flight was an unthinkable dream 18 months ago, but with three matches remaining of the 2023/24 campaign, it's now an achievable reality for St Pauli.

Revelling in the increased exposure that the Bundesliga provides, Hürzeler and his coaching staff will be eager to do the talking on the pitch and consolidate themselves in the first tier.

In the club's 114-year history, they've only spent a total of eight years in the Bundesliga, with their last appearance a brief, one-season stint in 2010/11.

St Pauli's best-ever finish was 10th in 1988/89 and it would be a phenomenal achievement if they could repeat that next term.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.