FCA face 1. FC Köln
Augsburg can take a big step towards survival with a win against 1. FC Köln on Friday (20.30 CEST). Head coach Heiko Herrlich wants to build on the performance from the game against Eintracht Frankfurt, but at the same time his team needs to improve from the 2-0 defeat.
Augsburg went home from Frankfurt empty-handed despite a good performance. “It’s a shame that we didn’t get our reward,” said head coach Heiko Herrlich of Tuesday’s match. “We had a good game but all in all we have played three games without scoring.” FCA had previously failed to score against FC Schalke 04 (1-0) and Arminia Bielefeld (0-0). “We have to improve a few things. You have to score goals to win games.“
Considering Eintracht’s form this year, our head coach didn’t necessarily count on getting any points there. “Now we are facing an opponent on our own level,” he said of the Köln match.
The Billy Goats occupy 17th place with 26 points so far. They are four points from safety and seven points behind Augsburg (33) with four games to play. “The water is up to their necks,” says Herrlich of our opponents’ situation, although the side from the Rhineland have suddenly started kicking as they try to avoid drowning. Köln triumphed 2-1 against second-place RB Leipzig last time out. “That gives the team an absolute ton of confidence,” said Herrlich.
Herrlich will have to make a few changes for the match against Köln. Mads Pedersen, Rani Khedira (both knocks) and Michael Gregoritsch (illness) are all doubts while Felix Uduokhai will miss out due to a yellow card suspension. Herrlich has already confirmed that Reece Oxford will replace the latter at centre-half. "Reece has already played plenty this season. He is strong in the air and will play from the start."
While there will be changes from the Eintracht match, Herrlich wants to play to a similar level. "It's important that we perform like we did in Frankfurt," the 48-year-old demands. "We have to get into the duels, stand firm against them and use our chances in front of goal better than in recent matches."
FCA can increase the gap over the Billy Goats to ten points with a win, a lead that would be unassailable with just three games left after this one. "We've had two or three opportunities to take that step forwards," said Herrlich looking back over FCA's recent fixtures. After the team let those chances slip, the Fuggerstädter now want to use the opportunity that presents itself with the match against Köln. As Herrlich made clear: "We want to win this game no matter what."