First away game of the season
On Saturday 13th August (15:30 CEST), FC Augsburg take on Bayer 04 Leverkusen in their first away game of the season. Head coach Enrico Maaßen wants to use the opportunity to improve their overall record against Leverkusen.
“Everyone knows our record against Leverkusen, we have to make the game as uncomfortable as possible for our opponent and put in as good a performance as we can,” said Maaßen. In 22 Bundesliga matches against Bayer, Augsburg have not managed to achieve a win up to this point. The team has worked on their shape during the week in training in order to try to finally bring this series to an end.
“We have analysed the game against Freiburg, and our man-to-man defending has to be more decisive, stronger and much more clearly organised,” explained the head coach, before suggesting that the team have to put the 4-0 defeat behind them, and not hide against Champions League side Leverkusen: “It’s important to put our opponent under pressure high up the pitch at times and to try to win the ball close to goal.”
Even though Leverkusen fell to defeats in both the DFB-Pokal (a 4-3 loss against Elversberg) and the Bundesliga (a 1-0 loss in Dortmund), Maaßen expects to face a dominant team at the BayArena. “Leverkusen have lost two games, but in Dortmund they deserved at least a draw, and will have a real fire in them,” said the 38-year-old. One stand-out player is Patrik Schick, who scored 24 times in the Bundesliga last season, and Maaßen described as an “outstanding striker.”
Maaßen kept his cards close to his chest over possible changes to the line-up in comparison to the team who started against Freiburg. There is, however, a question mark over the involvement of Florian Niederlechner, who has a problem with his adductor. Central defender Frederik Winther can also be ruled out.