FCA face VfL Bochum on Saturday afternoon
FC Augsburg will face VfL Bochum in their second home game of the season on Saturday 2nd September (15:30 CEST). Head coach Enrico Maaßen is anticipating a competitive game, and is itching to get the team’s first three points in front of the home fans.
Last season, FCA were defeated in both clashes against Bochum, in which the opposition were strong and relentless in 1-v-1 battles. With these past displays of quality in mind, Enrico Maaßen is expecting both teams to be on par with each other throughout: “We have a similar playing style and strong desire to win the ball when pressing, so it’s vital that we stay alert for the full 90 minutes. We experienced this last year, and know that we can rise to the challenge against teams who play at our standard. We want to record our first win of the season, particularly in front of the home fans, and we’re prepared to give our all to do this.”
Maaßen is feeling optimistic about Saturday’s fixture after FCA’s strong performances in the first games of the season: “I think that we showed our strength of character in the last two matches, but collecting points is now the priority. We’re well prepared for the challenge, and want to play intelligent football at the weekend”, urged the Augsburg coach.
Striker Mergim Berisha made the transfer to fellow Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim towards the end of the summer transfer window. However, solutions to the impending departure of last season's top scorer were already in the works this summer: “We have many strikers in the squad such as Phillip Tietz and Dion Beljo. Arne Maier, Ermedin Demirovic and Irvin Cardona are also options to play up front”, Maaßen explained.
The 39-year-old has the pick of the bunch when it comes to squad selection. It’s currently unclear whether Sven Michel will be able to play against Bochum, but Nathanaël Mbuku definitely won’t have recovered from his injury in time after only returning to the training pitch this week. Japan's Masaya Okugawa is also continuing to work diligently on his rehab, and Maaßen predicts that: “He will be able to join the team in training again in two to three weeks”. After receiving a suspension at the end of last season, new signing Patric Pfeiffer will have to wait one more match before he can make his debut in front of the home crowd.