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Jess Thorup auf der PK vor dem Union-Spiel

Thorup: “It’ll be a hard-fought affair”

Under the lights against Union Berlin

First Team 10.04.2024, 14:45

FC Augsburg will get matchday 29 of the 2023/24 Bundesliga season underway on Friday evening (20:30 CEST) when they take on Union Berlin at home. FCA head coach Jess Thorup is expecting an exciting clash under the floodlights.

“Union have played well in their past few games. They’ve picked up a lot of points while looking very solid at the back,” said Thorup in praise of his side’s next opponents, whose safety from the drop is not quite guaranteed yet. Nenad Bjelica’s side were defeated 1-0 by Bayer Leverkusen last week, while Augsburg’s five-game unbeaten streak came to an end at the hands of TSG Hoffenheim.

It will be the first time that FCA have played a Friday night game this season. Thorup explained that he’s expecting “a hard-fought affair”, but the 54-year-old is also looking forward to “another opportunity to pick up some points.” FCA currently sit seventh in the table on 36 points, while Union occupy 13th place.

Question marks over FCA players

Thorup kept his cards close to his chest when asked whether Kevin Mbabu, Fredrik Jansen and Iago, who all recently picked up knocks, will return to the squad. The same applies for holding midfielder Kristijan Jakić, though Niklas Dorsch will miss the game due to a foot injury. Elvis Rexhbecaj (fractured metatarsal) and Robert Gumny (torn ACL) are still recovering from long-term setbacks.

During the week, Thorup has used the defeat against TSG Hoffenheim to sharpen his players’ senses ahead of the final six matches of the season. The Dane was keen to stress that they’re still “fully focused on Union Berlin.” In the reverse fixture, an Ermedin Demirović penalty gave FCA the lead, before Kevin Volland’s equaliser two minutes before the final whistle meant that the points were shared.

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Jess Thorup