FCA host Eintracht Frankfurt
FC Augsburg host Eintracht Frankfurt on matchday 13 of the Bundesliga season (19th December, 15:30 CET). Two players may return to the squad. Heiko Herrlich is expecting a strong opponent and opts for rotation due to the busy schedule.
“I’m expecting a very good side, strong at winning the ball,” says FCA head coach Heiko Herrlich as he looks toward the coming game against Frankfurt. Eintracht are currently tenth in the league with 14 points – one place behind Augsburg. “They’re a quick side with aggression in central midfield. I’m surprised they haven’t got more points to date,” says Herrlich. At the same time, he demands that his side is “wide awake,” as “Frankfurt’s quality is there for all to see.”
All in all, Augsburg can be pleased with their points tally (16 from twelve games). Nonetheless, Herrlich always sees room for improvement: “We have good moves but then make the wrong decision and miss out on creating big chances – we need to work on that.” But the head coach doesn’t just see this happening with his own side. “We’re not the only ones who are doing this. Obviously it shouldn’t be an excuse, but the schedule is busier, the workload is greater – that has its consequences.” But he emphasises: “We need to think about ourselves and find the balance between being compact at the back whilst having the final ball going forward.”
In reaction to the high workload, Herrlich has opted for rotation in the last two games. “We’re now playing our third game in six days; it’s intense and we have little time to recuperate. It definitely makes sense to keep putting one or two fresh players in the starting eleven.”
Herrlich should be able to look forward to two returnees for the game against Frankfurt. Both Iago and Mads Pedersen returned to team training on Friday and took part in the whole session. “I hope they don’t have any difficulties following that. If not, they’ll both be available,” says the head coach. After recovering from an ankle injury, Alfred Finnbogason was able to have brief stints in the games against Schalke (2-2) and Bielefeld (1-0). “We’re glad that he’s fit again and back with the side. Alfred had good moments in the last two games where he helped the team,” says Herrlich.
And there’s another hopeful piece of news. Jan Morávek and Noah Sarenren Bazee have returned to training in part, but neither will be an option for Saturday. André Hahn will continue to be absent due to his Covid-19 infection. “André’s doing well as he has been, he’s training at home. He can only return to the side when he’s had two negative tests,” explains Herrlich.