A trip to the capital on matchday 22
Augsburg are heading to the capital to face strugglers Hertha BSC on Saturday afternoon for matchday 22 (15:30 CET). Enrico Maaßen spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of the game and the head coach is confident his side can build on the strong performance they showed against Hoffenheim last time out.
“The next game is always the most important. We are in a good place right now and we want to pick up points,” explained Maaßen. The head coach will have to do without Elvis Rexhbecaj and Felix Uduokhai against Hertha, with both on the sidelines due to muscle injuries. “We have the utmost faith in the players that we currently have at our disposal. We’re not having to compromise,” said the gaffer.
Augsburg are currently seven points clear of Hertha after their 1-0 win over Hoffenheim last time out. Although Sandro Schwarz’s BSC fell to a 4-1 defeat to BVB last weekend, the Berliners have improved their performances in recent weeks. This detail hasn’t been lost on Maaßen: “They have changed their system, they’re playing consistently and they’re enjoying lots of chances on the counter.“
In order to try to get the first win on the road in 2023 and to create new stimuli, the coaching staff have made slight changes to the weekly schedule. “We have a real chance to pull away so we’re putting positive pressure on ourselves internally,” said Maaßen. FCA have lost all three away games this year against Mainz (3-1), Dortmund (4-3), Freiburg (3-1).
There will be reunions with Marco Richter, who came through the youth system at FC Augsburg, and Florian Niederlechner, who joined Hertha in the January window. “We’re fully aware of their qualities but we will prepare for the match as normal,” said the gaffer ahead of the 22nd Bundesliga meeting between the two sides. FCA have only picked up three wins in this fixture and are still waiting for their first win at the Olympiastadion.