FCA travel to take on Mainz 05 on Sunday
FC Augsburg take on 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday (15:30 CET) in a Bundesliga clash that gives coach Heiko Herrlich’s team the opportunity to widen the gap to the relegation zone. Herrlich will be keen to build on the performance against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Ahead of the match, Felix Uduokhai was keen to emphasise the importance of the match against the side who are second-bottom.
“It felt like a defeat immediately after the game,” recalled Heiko Herrlich as he discussed the game against the ‘Werkself’ last weekend, in which he watched his team concede a last-minute equaliser at the WWK ARENA. “But we’ve made a big effort to separate the result from our performance in our own heads. We did a lot of things really well, especially in terms of staying compact and in the way we played out of possession.”
What was clear to FCA’s coach above all was that his team needed to maintain their focus “right to the last second”, especially when defending counterattacks. However, Herrlich was convinced that his team were able to take a lot of self-confidence from the point against Peter Bosz’s side. “If we can take the passionate and committed mentality we showed there into the next game, then we will pick up points,” stressed the coach.
Following the game against one of the top sides in the Bundesliga, a different sort of challenge awaits FC Augsburg at the weekend as they take on the Zerofivers. The side from Rhineland-Palatinate sit in 17th place in the table but are in good form, having picked up ten points from their last five games so far in the Rückrunde. “Mainz are fighting their way back from the brink,” analysed Heiko Herrlich. “They are aggressive out of possession, consistently win their duels, and are very strong in transitional play. Alongside that, they seem to have picked up some of the luck that we were experiencing at the start of the season!”
Felix Uduokhai gave a similar analysis to Herrlich as he gave his thoughts on Bo Svensson’s team. “Mainz are very compact and disciplined defensively,” described the 23-year-old, who made it clear that “We know what to expect on Sunday.” FCA currently sit six points above the Zerofivers. A win for Heiko Herrlich’s team could widen the gap with their relegation rivals to nine points. “It won’t be a pretty game, that’s for sure,” predicted Uduokhai, “But that’s not what Sunday is about. It’s all about picking up three points.”
The aim for Augsburg at the OPEL ARENA is also clear for Heiko Herrlich. “It’s an extremely important game,” he emphasised. Herrlich will have to do without Alfred Finnbogason (calf), Iago (ankle), Fredrik Jensen (thigh), and Tim Civeja (groin). “The aim for us is simply to go there and win.”