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Maaßen: “We want to make the day a celebration”

Press conference ahead of FC Augsburg's DFB-Pokal clash with Bayern München

First Team 18.10.2022, 12:01

For the second time within 32 days, FC Augsburg host FC Bayern Munich in a sold-out WWK Arena on Wednesday evening (19.10.22, 20:45 CEST) – this time, however, in the second round of the DFB-Pokal. Head coach Enrico Maaßen wants to ensure its another ‘Augsburg day of celebration’ for his team.

“The cup plays by its own rules. We’ve already been able to beat Bayern twice at home recently – why shouldn’t there be a third time?” said Maaßen, who believes another surprise against the record cup holders is entirely possible. The 38-year-old recognises that Bayern, who rolled Freiburg over on Sunday evening with a 5-0 win, are in “a good run of form” and thinks that “Bayern have a world-class squad and are the most difficult opponent that we could have possible got.”

During their 1-0 win in the mid September, FCA showed that they can hold their own against their neighbours from the region’s capital. “We were frenzied in every position going into challenges, won lots of those and were really good in our pressing and switching of the play,” Maaßen said looking back. Moreover, FCA can again rely on the support from 30,660 fans inside the stadium, something that Maaßen is especially looking forward to: “The stadium is sold-out and we want to make the day a celebration.”

Gouweleeuw and Bauer available for selection again

The squad situation for the Fuggerstädter remains stretched however. Rafal Gikiewicz hasn’t recovered from the bruise on his thigh just yet and is still, therefore, unavailable. Compared with the away game at Köln, Frederik Winther (knee contusion) is also unlikely to play, but Arne Maier, who had been injury-stricken recently, has returned to the squad. Maaßen is happy that his trademark defensive pairing of Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Maximilian Bauer are back following their suspensions.

Our opponents have been using Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting up front following the muscle injury to Leroy Sane. Nevertheless, the FCA head coach is expecting Bayern’s strongest possible line up. “We’re zoned in, you only need to go on a bit of a run to win the cup. Bayern want to win this competition as well,” explained Maaßen. With energy, passion and the necessary bit of luck, the Red-White-and-Greens will try to beat Bayern for the third time on the trot at home: “That would be exceptional, but it’s our goal.”

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Enrico Maaßen