Uduokhai tests positive – Gouweleeuw set to return
FC Augsburg will kick off matchday 15 in the Bundesliga with an away game at 1. FC Köln on Friday night (20:30 CET). Head coach Markus Weinzierl is expecting an intense game under the floodlights, but will have to deal with another setback regarding his squad.
Markus Weinzierl had bad news to report from Thursday’s pre-match press conference. Defender Felix Uduokhai has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating, though he thankfully doesn’t have any symptoms. “It’s obviously really gutting for both him and us because he was just getting back to training with the team,” said Weinzierl.
The FCA boss could also be without several other players for this away game. Mads Pedersen (patellar tendon), Arne Maier (bronchitis), Andi Zeqiri (hip) and Florian Niederlechner are all doubts. The game will definitely come too soon for Alfred Finnbogason, however things are looking much better for Raphael Framberger, who came off injured in the 3-2 defeat to Bochum (just as Zeqiri).
Captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw is available again after having to quarantine. “Jeff is back in training and we definitely need him,” stressed Weinzierl, who admitted: “It’s obviously not perfect when he’s flying to Cologne after just two sessions having spent all his time at home recently.”
Despite the difficulty in planning his team for this match, Weinzierl still knows what kind of game to expect. “Köln, like us, are a side that live off the intensity they play at. I’m expecting an intense game, which will really test us”, stated the head coach. Even though Weinzierl wasn’t happy with the result against Bochum last time out, he wants the side to continue playing at the intensity they have recently: “We’ve improved in this regard.”
The 46-year-old described opponents Köln as “hard running and aggressive,” adding “they’ve also got a real goalscorer in Anthony Modeste up front too.” He also commented: “They are a team that do the basics well. If we play to our strengths, we’ll have a good chance of picking up points in Cologne.” Effzeh have been particularly strong on their own patch in 2021/22, winning four times and drawing the other three fixtures, though this won’t faze Weinzierl: “We know that they haven’t lost at home yet – it’s time for that to change.”
In order to record FCA’s first away win of the season, the players will need to be more clinical in comparison to the last match against Bochum. “We weren’t clever that day. However, the way we’ve played recently gives me confidence,” summed up Weinzierl.