FCA head coach returns to the dugout
On Saturday, it’s first vs second in the Bundesliga as league leaders RB Leipzig come to the WWK ARENA (kick-off 15:30 CEST). Head coach Heiko Herrlich returns to the dugout for this top-of-the-table clash. His centre-back, Felix Uduokhai, does not wish to overstate the significance of the teams’ current position in the table.
Before the international break, Heiko Herrlich was not able to be part of his team’s 0-0 draw in Wolfsburg due to a pneumothorax (build up of air between lung and chest). "I feel great," said Herrlich, who was discharged from hospital on Monday and was back to lead this week’s training sessions.
Alfred Finnbogason, on the other hand, will not be available for Saturday. The Iceland international sustained a thigh injury with his national team during the recent break and will be out of action for the time being. "It’s a real shame, he was in great form," said Herrlich, "this is obviously a setback for him." With several FCA players fresh from international duty, some having played as recently as Wednesday, it remains to be seen who will be in the starting XI on Saturday.
Saturday’s visitors, RB Leipzig, are currently the Bundesliga leaders. Like FCA, the Saxony side have collected seven points from their opening three games, boasting a superior goal difference to Herrlich’s men, which has them marginally in pole position. "This will be our toughest task yet," warned Herrlich. "We’re playing against one of Europe’s top teams, who played in the Champions League semi-final not long ago. Leipzig have superb individuals and an awful lot of quality as a team."
The FCA defence, currently the joint best in the league alongside Wolfsburg with just one goal conceded, will have their work cut out for them in particular. "We played together during the whole of preseason," said Felix Uduokhai, giving his reason for Augsburg’s strong defensive displays. "But it’s only Matchday 3, we still need to develop. It’s going really well, which is nice, but we have a lot of work ahead of us."
After some 6000 fans cheered the team on to victory over Borussia Dortmund, the Fuggerstädters will have to make do without their vociferous support against Leipzig. "Obviously it’s nicer to play with fans – sport thrives on atmosphere," said Uduokhaim, in no uncertain terms.
The 23-year-old has dismissed all talk of a so-called ‘top-of-the-table clash’ this early in the season. "The current standings are completely irrelevant. It’s quite a snapshot to see us up there, and we are pleased about it, but the table means very little." Uduokhai reassured listeners that he and his teammates would be approaching this game against the league leaders like any other game. "We can’t leave any gaps, and we’ll get our chances at the other end," said Uduokhai, confidently. "We need to push ourselves to our limit in order to get something out of the game," he added.