Metaxas and Barbuscak test positive for COVID-19
FC Augsburg travel north on Saturday to take on SV Werder Bremen (15:30 CET). Assistant coach Iraklis Metaxas and goalkeeper coach Kristian Barbuscak will not make the trip up to the Weser, while Iago is still a doubt for the game at the wohninvest WESERSTADION.
When FCA travel north to Bremen this weekend, Iraklis Metaxas and Kristian Barbuscak's places on the bench will remain vacant. Both coaches have returned positive COVID-19 tests during the week and have subsequently entered quarantine immediately. Metaxas and Barbuscak are both asymptomatic and all daily follow-up tests on the players and coaching staff have returned negative results. Laboratory results have indicated that the two were not infectious at the time they entered isolation.
Because of this, the preparations for the trip to Bremen have luckily not been jeopardised. Iago is still a major doubt for Saturday’s game, however, with the Brazilian still suffering from a neck problem following a collision in last weekend’s home defeat to VfB Stuttgart. While Marco Richter is suspended after picking up a yellow card in that game, captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw will return after serving his yellow card ban.
Coach Heiko Herrlich is expecting more defensive stability from his team in the game against Werder. “Nobody wants an experience like last weekend again, where the other team had 27 shots,” said Herrlich as he looked back on the defeat to the side from Baden-Württemberg. “In analysing that game, it’s clear that we need to address some of the basics again. We started the game well and pushed them up the pitch, but we have to be winning the duels in midfield.”
FCA’s coach recalled his side’s strong start to the season when Augsburg picked up seven points from their first three games and kept two clean sheets. “It was a big strength of ours that we were so compact at the start of the season. We played well out of possession and were strong in tackles,” emphasised the 49-year-old. “We have to channel that against Bremen, a team who are very strong in terms of duels won. We want to put them under pressure and close them down, that’s the basis for success here.”
Werder Bremen are currently four points behind FCA in 13th position in the Bundesliga standings, most recently winning a hard-fought point away at Bayer 04 Leverkusen. “They’ve achieved some good results this season and were very strong defensively in Leverkusen,” analysed Herrlich of Saturday’s opponent. “They also have some very good players who are always dangerous on the attack. For this reason, we particularly want to channel some of the best things we did well early on in the season this weekend.”
Herrlich is not expecting a spectacular match in Bremen, however. “I think we’ll see a similar game to the one against Köln,” predicts FCA’s coach. “Both sides will do their best to keep the opponent in check and allow as few chances as possible.” Herrlich would be pleased to achieve a result similar to the one in Cologne at the weekend though, when Augsburg came away 1-0 winners in the first game of 2021.