FCA host Hertha BSC on Saturday
On Matchday 7 of the Bundesliga, FC Augsburg host Hertha BSC in the second home game in a row (7th November, 15:30 CET). The two sides’ starts to the season couldn’t be more different. While Raphael Framberger is out, Florian Niederlechner is on the cusp of a return. Ruben Vargas is optimistic ahead of the clash.
“You’d think it would be an easy game if you looked only at the table,” said head coach Heiko Herrlich at the press conference ahead of the game. With just four points from the first six games, tomorrow’s visitors occupy 14th place in the league, eight places below Augsburg in 6th, despite high hopes coming into the season. “Hertha have invested a lot and have a good squad. Their games so far have been close and could have gone either way – so we need to be alert,” said Herrlich. “And Bruno Labbadia has already said that his side wants to take the next step.”
However, FCA also want to make progress by building on their good performances. “We have had a very good start and picked up a lot of points,” said Ruben Vargas. The attacker has chipped in with two goals and one assist. “I’m happy when I’m able the play and try to help the team even if I’m only coming on off the bench.” And on his overhead kick to open the scoring against Main, the attacker said, “I didn’t strike the ball the way I wanted to, but it’s maybe better that way because it went in.”
Heiko Herrlich will be without Raphael Framberger against Hertha. The right-back suffered a hamstring injury last weekend. "We hope that he will be able to return after the international break," said Herrlich.
His replacement will be new signing Robert Gumny. "He's done very well on his cameos so far as well as in training. Now, Robert has the opportunity to start," said Herrlich. "It will of course be a new situation, but he's focused and is looking forward to the game. We have a good feeling."
Florian Niederlechner will likely return to the squad after recovering from a stomach muscle injury. "He returned to training yesterday and will likely be an option," said Herrlich. The 48-year-old also mentioned the possibility of Marco Richter returning to the squad, after having been in action with the club's U23s last weekend. "It's always the case that I need to make decisions. He needs to play 90 minutes again, as that's important for young players. He's done well, so it's possible that he's will be in the squad tomorrow."
Augsburg centre-back Felix Uduokhai was the recipient of good news today, after being called up by Germany for the first time. "It's something special to represent your country. Everyone does their best to make the most of that opportunity," said Herrlich. "We're very happy for Felix, he definitely deserves it. The same is true for Philipp Max, who has also been called up and who spent several years at FCA." Vargas, who has been called up to represent Switzerland, added "It shows that Augsburg is a good place for you to develop at. Felix will do a good job and should enjoy every moment."
But, before it's time for the internatioanl break, the focus remains on the upcoming home game at the WWK ARENA. "We are very well prepared," said Vargas. "We know what to expect and that something good is possible."