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Maaßen: “We need a special day”

Bavarian derby on Saturday

First Team 09.03.2023, 14:15

FC Augsburg will travel to take on Bavarian neighbours Bayern Munich on Saturday afternoon (15:30 CET). Saturday’s game will be the third time that Enrico Maaßen’s side take on the record champions this season.

In the first half of the season, FCA recorded an impressive 1-0 home win over Bayern and also proved to be a tricky opposition for stretches of the 5-2 DFB-Pokal defeat. “We played really well in the two games against them and we’ve won our last four home games; that gives us a good feeling,” said the head coach, who watched Bayern’s 2-0 win over PSG on television.

Maaßen, who turns 39 on Friday, said it was “very special to play against the best teams in Germany.” Bayern are top of the league after 49 points from 23 games, but don’t have any room for error with second-placed side Dortmund sitting on the same amount of points. FCA are currently in 13th place. “We need a special day,” said Maaßen, who is demanding “bravery, intensity, efficiency in front of goal and a high willingness to run.”

Berisha and Rexhbecaj back in full training

With the game coming three days after the Champions League clash with PSG, Maaßen wouldn’t be surprised to see some changes to the Bayern starting XI. The FCA head coach also has options ahead of the game, with Mergim Berisha and Elvis Rexhbecaj returning to full training. Only Reece Oxford (illness), Fredrik Jensen (foot) and Felix Uduokhai (muscle problem) will join the long-term injury absentees Tobias Strobl and André Hahn on the injury list ahead of Saturday.

FCA will be well supported on the weekend, with the Bavarian derby already sold out. Augsburg have only recorded one victory away against Bayern – in 2015 when Raúl Bobadilla’s 71st-minute backheel secured a 1-0 win. Eight years later, Maaßen and his team are hoping for a second-ever away win and a second win of the current campaign against the record champions. “We’ve shown that we can beat them – and they’ll be aware of that too."


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