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St. Pauli and Kiel gear up for a massive promotion celebration.

Burger offering a unique scheme

Will St. Pauli be on the sofa on Saturday?
Will St. Pauli be on the sofa on Saturday?

St. Pauli and Kiel gear up for a massive promotion celebration.

Goodbye Bundesliga 2, welcome Oberhaus! Kiel and St. Pauli might be celebrating promotion this weekend. Could Düsseldorf spoil the party though? In Hamburg, there are political plans as a precaution.

Anticipated floodlit celebrations in Kiel, cozy couch celebrations by FC St. Pauli - or will Fortuna Düsseldorf crash the party again? The final decision in the captivating race to the Bundesliga is expected to be made this weekend. However, no one is focusing on potential celebrations just yet, and the Kiel players are avoiding looking at the Rathausbalkon.

"I'll check it out when the time comes," said defender Timo Becker with a smile. Becker assured that the excitement isn't that high. "We've been a cheerful team all year. We always joke around and keep things calm." The situation is straightforward: Kiel needs just one point against Düsseldorf to become the first club from Schleswig-Holstein to be promoted to the Bundesliga on the second-to-last matchday.

If Kiel wins against the third-placed team on Saturday evening (8:30 pm/Sky and Sport1), they will automatically take FC St. Pauli, who only face bottom club Osnabrück on Sunday (1:30 pm/Sky), into the top league as their second club. "I'm completely convinced that we'll earn three points," said Kiel coach Marcel Rapp: "We have a good energy level, good motivation, and great support."

Pauli plans a pro-democracy celebration

Opponents Düsseldorf, however, are striving to secure a relegation spot - which only requires a win - and the slim chance of a direct promotion. A win would keep Kiel just two points ahead, resulting in an intense fight on the final matchday. "We're the only team that can lose something there," said coach Daniel Thioune. Regardless of the final outcome, "not much has gone wrong."

Similarly, things have not gone wrong at St. Pauli either, although the missed first match point against arch-rivals Hamburger SV still stings. Reaching the Bundesliga after 13 years should not be a nail-biter. If Kiel doesn't help, a three-pointer against Osnabrück would be enough. "It's vital for us to have the chance to decide it ourselves," said coach Fabian Hürzeler.

Should it come to that, St. Pauli wants to celebrate their promotion with a fan party, but also with a day of action for democracy, against racism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination. This political season finale will take place on Whit Monday (20 May) together with several other organizations in Hamburg city center.

Approximately 100 kilometers north, the belief in early promotion is also strong. "The achievement is huge and not a given for a club like Holstein Kiel," said Becker: "It would be the biggest accomplishment for everyone in our squad." Of course, he has "a few scenarios in mind" for the potential celebration, he continued: "But first, we have to play the match, and then we'll see what happens here."

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