On Sunday 12th March (15:30 CET), Augsburg make the journey to Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke 04. After gaining a point from their last match against second placed Leipzig, Manuel Baum is expecting another difficult match in the Ruhr this weekend. Baum says his side need to be fully focused: “We prepare all week to be at our best when we face our opponent.”
The Augsburg head coach was not oblivious to Schalke’s Europa League last 16 performance against Gladbach on Thursday: “Schalke showed that they can be very flexible.” In addition, Gojko Kacar also paid attention to Schalke’s midweek draw with Gladbach in the Europa League: “The created a lot of chances and have extreme quality in their team.” The recipe for a successful away game is, “to be at it from the first minute.”
WIth regard to the up and down nature of Augsburg’s recent results (three victories, one draw, two defeats), Gojko Kacar is hoping to extend the unbeaten run to three matches: “We want maintain the standards that we showed in our recent performances. I’m an optimistic person who likes to look ahead. I’m certain we can play even better and get more points on the board.”
Manuel Baum can breathe a little easier with regard to personnel. “We’re on a good path in the injury department.” Paul Verhaegh is back in training and looking good. It’s unknown whether Jan Moravek will be fit to face his former club. In addition, the long term absentees are making good progress. “Alfred Finnbogason has done a full week’s training and has looked good so the whole team is excited to have him back,” said Manuel Baum.
Head coach Baum also only had positive words for former Augsburg trainer Markus Weinzierl: “He had a big influence on the current situation at Augsburg and insured that this club could operate in the top division in Germany.”