Augsburg take on Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer 04 Leverkusen visit the WWK ARENA this Sunday (21st February, 13.30 CET). FC Augsburg are still waiting for a first Bundesliga victory against the Werkself. Heiko Herrlich and captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw want to finally end that barren run.
“Obviously we aren’t satisfied with our current situation,” agreed Heiko Herrlich and Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, respecitve head coach and captain of FC Augsburg. Augsburg have endured a tough few weeks with losses to strong opposition such as Borussia Dortmund (3-1), VfL Wolfsburg (2-0) and most recently RasenBallsport Leipzig (2-1). Even with the pressure slowly rising, the club is optimistic looking ahead. “We have quality in this team and we have to show that,” said Gouweleeuw.
Gouweleeuw’s manager sees encouraging signs of development in his team: “We have done lots of things well, we’ve pressed high and often found the right solutions.” Herrlich sees potential for improvement though, particularly when it comes to cracking teams open. “We have to pose more of a threat, stay compact and avoid losing our concentration as we have done at times.”
The next opportunity to improve comes on Sunday, where the red, green and whites face another tough task. Leverkusen are the only current Bundesliga team that Augsburg are yet to beat (six draws, thirteen defeats). “It’s time to change things and get points again,” said Gouweleeuw, making the aim clear. “We will keep trying new things and we will try with all our might to get points here,” added Herrlich.
Herrlich, who has history with the Werkself as a player and a coach, views Leverkusen as a top team. “There will be difficult periods for us. Leverkusen possess great speed and technical precision.” Herrlich also knows the strength of his own team, however: “We have to try to fight them with all our quality. Everything that we do, we have to do to the best of our ability.” Gouweleeuw picks up: “Above all we have to focus on ourselves. We want to change our situation as quickly as possible and get back to being successful. That’s the most important thing.”
Not much has changed on the personnel front. Iago remains unavailable after his operation while Alfred Finnbogason and Fredrik Jensen will also be sidelined. Felix Uduokhai is back in training after recovering from illness (not coronavirus) and will return to the squad this weekend. Daniel Caligiuri, Mads Pedersen and Reece Oxford have been dealing with issues, but Herrlich is optimistic. “I assume that they will be ready to feature on Sunday.”