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Weinzierl: “Everyone knows what’s at stake”

FCA looking to leapfrog Bielefeld in the table

First Team 03.03.2022, 13:50

FC Augsburg will travel to Arminia Bielefeld on Friday evening (20:30 CET) to kick off matchday 25. Despite the unusual kick off time, Markus Weinzierl is relishing the chance to get the weekend off to the perfect start, by overtaking Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga table. The boss has also confirmed that two key names will return to the squad.

After closing matchday 24 with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund last Sunday evening, FC Augsburg will open up the Bundesliga weekend with a trip to Bielefeld, to the delight of coach Markus Weinzierl: “I like playing on Friday evenings because you can set the tone for the weekend. It’s better than playing last on a Sunday evening.”

The boss can also call upon two returnees when FCA make the trip to the Bielefeld. Andi Zeqiri is available again after missing the last game due to a positive COVID test, and André Hahn can return after serving his suspension. “I am glad that André is back in the squad, we need his physicality,” explained Weinzierl. However, the coach must do without Niklas Dorsch, who is suspended after receiving his fifth booking of the campaign. Carlos Gruezo and Jan Morávek are available as replacements.

Weinzierl: “It will be a great atmosphere”

Weinzierl refused to confirm as to whether he will go with a back three/five, as in the game against Dortmund, or whether he will opt for a back four: “It’s not about the system, it’s about how we go about it and how we play,” explained the coach. He continued: “I think we are more naturally suited to a back four, but we can play both systems.” Only two points separate FCA (23) and Bielefeld (25) in the table and the coach is fully aware of the significance of the game ahead: “We know that we can leapfrog them with a win,” explained Weinzierl, who is expecting an electric atmosphere on Friday night: “A Friday night game at the Alm, under the floodlights and in front of 20,000 spectators – it will be great atmosphere.” The coach also explained that under those conditions, his team will need to “fight hard and take the game by the scruff of the neck” and that “whichever team battles the hardest and shows the most desire will walk off the pitch as the winner.”

Bielefeld's "positive development” 

The game between the two sides in the first half of the season ended in a 1-1 draw and the manager is fully aware of how tough Bielefeld will be to play this time around, explaining how they are a “an unpleasant team to play against.” Weinzierl also praised Arminia for their “very positive development” as a team, which can be seen from the fact that Friday’s hosts are unbeaten in their last six home matches. The coach also stated: “they play their way and have a clear structure. They play with an open mind and have stabilised themselves.”

Nevertheless, after the positive result against Borussia Dortmund, Augsburg’s objective on Friday night is clear: “There is a certain buzz in the dressing room. We don’t need any more motivation and everyone knows what’s at stake.”

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Markus Weinzierl