Final game of the year at Fürth
FCA are away to SpVgg Greuther Fürth to conclude the first half of the season on Saturday at 15:30 CET. Head coach Markus Weinzierl is looking forward to having captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw available again, but was quick to warn that the side bottom of the league shouldn’t be underestimated.
FCA will travel to Fürth as favourites, though this won’t interest Markus Weinzierl much in the build-up to the game. “It’s not about who the favourite is. It’s important that we approach this game like we have every other one recently and that we’re on it from the first whistle.”
Weinzierl has captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw available again after he was suspended for the RB Leipzig game in midweek. “I’m more nervous when I’m not playing,” said the Dutch defender looking back on Wednesday’s match.
Weinzierl is “really happy” about the return of his captain, especially with a number of absentees still. Felix Uduokhai (quarantine), Florian Niederlechner (metatarsus) and Alfred Finnbogason are all definitely not available, while Weinzierl will wait and see how Andi Zeqiri (hip) is after Friday’s session. Injuries aside, there may well be some other changes due to the busy week. “We will think about who’s already played a lot recently and who might need a break,” revealed Weinzierl.
Despite opponents Fürth sitting bottom of the table on four points, Gouweleeuw wants to make sure FCA don’t relax ahead of this game. “The most important thing is that we don’t underestimate them,” stressed the centre-back. “They may not have many points, but they made life difficult for Dortmund last time out.” Even though BVB beat Fürth 3-0 on Wednesday, the scoreline somewhat flattered Dortmund.
FCA’s boss also believes that Fürth have improved in recent weeks. “They don’t have the individual quality that others do, however they’ve stabilised themselves in recent weeks,” analysed the 46-year-old. “They will do all they can to beat us at home.”
In order to stop that, Weinzierl wants his team to take the game to the hosts. “We have been working on becoming more dominant instead of passive in recent games,” explained the coach. Looking back on the first half against Bochum and Leipzig, he added: “We’ve not yet managed it over a full 90 minutes – but we’re getting better.”