On Saturday (15:30 CEST), FC Augsburg will host 1. FC Union Berlin, who are currently third in the table, at the WWK ARENA, which will be sold out for the fifth time in a row. FCA head coach Enrico Maaßen looked ahead to the game with confidence at the press conference.
“Everything is now in our hands and we want to pick up all three points on Saturday,” said the 39-year-old ahead of matchday 31, which is dedicated to the FCA members. Fittingly, Augsburg can once again look forward to a full house, which should provide added motivation in the final stretch of the season. Maaßen saw it the same way, saying “We need their full support, and we want to give something back to our fans!”
The Függerstädter have played out two 1-1 draws in a row, first at home to VfB Stuttgart and then away against Eintracht Frankfurt, and are in a good position in thirteenth place (31 points) when it comes to staying in the league. The aim is now to make the most of this. “We have got points in two games in a row now and gave away little in both matches, this is the baseline,” said Maaßen, who is facing a side contending for Champions League, since Union already have an impressive 56 points under their belt, two more than fifth-placed Leipzig, who will be desperate to achieve a European spot.
“Prepared with a purpose”
“It’s difficult to play against them,” said Maaßen, warning of Union’s strengths this season. According to FCA’s head coach, these include “their usual compactness, their pace up top, their ability to win second balls and their set pieces.” However, he also reported a “very good week of training” and added, “we prepared with a purpose for Union, the boys are fired up for the game.”
Four players are still only training individually in Mergim Berisha, Rafał Gikiewicz, Fredrik Jensen and Iago, while Nathanaël Mbuku is ill and will be absent for the game at the weekend. Reece Oxford will also not be available again this season after his long-term injury. The same goes for Julian Baumgartlinger, who suffered a meniscus injury in his knee in Frankfurt and underwent successful surgery on Wednesday. “He is an absolute fighter and I’m sure that he will be back,” said Maaßen.
- 1. FC Union Berlin
- Enrico Maaßen