Oxford ruled out – Niederlechner back
After defeating league leaders FC Bayern 2-1 last matchday, FC Augsburg are now in action in the capital, taking on Hertha BSC on Saturday (15:30 CET). Head coach Markus Weinzierl is optimistic ahead of the match, and wants a confident and brave performance from his team.
Unfortunately, FCA will be without a key man for the clash in Berlin. Reece Oxford will not be available having picked up a muscular problem in training. “His absence will really hurt us, particularly in a period of this season like this. Reece was in great form, which makes this even more gutting,” commented Weinzierl. Saturday will also come too soon for Alfred Finnbogason, though the striker is back in team training. Florian Niederlechner, on the other hand, will be an option for Weinzierl this weekend. Ruben Vargas, has also returned after his Covid infection, although a decision on him will be made at a later date due to the lack of training he’s had recently. Regardless of the personnel, Weinzierl “wants to travel to Berlin as a unit to win there.”
On the back of the Bayern win, Weinzierl was quick to point out the team’s current situation: “The victory over Bayern obviously did us the world of good, however we have to remember that those points we picked up are effectively cancelled out by the ones we shouldn’t have dropped elsewhere.” Looking ahead to the Hertha game, Weinzierl added: “Nevertheless, we believe that this win will give us some momentum and won’t prove a burden for us. We’ve got a great chance if we play like we did last Friday.”
Although FCA have never won at Hertha in the Bundesliga, Weinzierl is optimistic ahead of Saturday. “Every run is there to be broken. We can’t afford to let up now. We’re not happy with our return of 12 points from 12 games, and we need to be collecting points at this stage of the season. We want to do this in Berlin now.” With five games to go in 2021, the boss wants FCA to put themselves in a good position for the second half of the season. “We can get something from every game, however we need everyone to be giving 110%,” stated Weinzierl.
Regarding Hertha, Weinzierl had clear aims for taking them on: “We can’t allow them to get into the game. They will be desperate to win after the derby defeat, so we will need to play to our best.” Hertha lost 2-0 last time out away at city rivals 1. FC Union Berlin. The coach wants his team to “attack with intent at the right times.” The fact that Augsburg don’t have the financial resources of Hertha and that they’re the “smaller club” doesn’t bother Weinzierl: “The mentality will be important. We beat Bayern by giving our all and that’s how we can defeat other Bundesliga teams too.”