Julian Nagelsmann on…
… the opponent
FCA have taken great strides under Manuel Baum. I’ve known him since our youth coaching days; he has a very clear goal. Augsburg have a very good structure as a squad. They’re difficult to play because they stand so compact, move up the pitch so quickly and are very aggressive on the second ball. And of course there’s Finnbogason who’s very intelligent in his movement.
… the squad
Lukas Rupp and Serge Gnabry are still injured – they’ll start training again next week. Both are without pain now which is good. Ermin Bicakcic’s knee is still fragile. We don’t know how long he’ll be out for. Adam Szalai is making progress but he’s been out for a while so hasn’t trained with the team yet. Robin Hack has been good in training and has recovered from his head pain. Kerem Demirbay is fully fit – his return is a big boost.
… the preview I
Over the past weeks, Alexander Rosen and my coaching staff have practically forced me to have a break and take a breath from time to time. I have huge belief in my co-trainer. He conducts the sessions very well when I’m not in. I enjoyed my week a lot. Not all the players were here of course, but we still had three intense training sessions. We had fun. We have a busy schedule and the extra load can be particularly tricky for the new signings.
… the preview II
I get pleasure every day from coming in to training to work with this team. I give everything for them and they give everything for me – that’s the most important. There’s been no contact from Bayern Munich. We’re focusing on maintaining what we achieved last season. A third defeat in a row would be bad. Losing is not what I’m about. We’re playing at home and we haven’t lost at home in 21 games.
… the preview III
It will be difficult to carve out chances against Augsburg because they defend very well. We need a good balance on the pitch, but it’s also important we play the ball quickly and with precision. We need to be better in possession than in past games and be wary of the counter.
FCA and TSG have played 12 times in the Bundesliga. Hoffenheim have won half of those games, losing only three times. TSG have never lost against Augsburg at home, winning three and drawing three.
Out of the cup, defeat on matchday one – Augsburg didn’t start the season well, but no one panicked. With good reason: three back-to-back wins followed and then a draw against Stuttgart. FCA then suffered a narrow loss to BVB, pushing the league leaders all the way. They are now sixth in the table and the self-belief is high. Martin Hinteregger believes Augsburg can “give every team a good game”. Caiuby continued, “Our hard work is being rewarded. Everyone supports each other on the pitch – it’s uncomfortable for the opposition.” Augsburg a tough nut for sure.
The key battle
“If we carry out our game and defend well, we make it difficult for any team,” said Augsburg’s midfielder, Rani Khedira. Augsburg’s game-plan is clear: defend well, not let anything through and counter quickly. TSG will have to find space in tight areas and make sure to stay strong at the back.