Augsburg play host to 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday, 22nd April (15:30 CEST). While FCA can officially confirm their top-flight status for another year, the Zerofivers are very much in the thick of the relegation battle. Sandro Schwarz’s side will be desperate for the three points, but Manuel Baum hopes to keep them in Augsburg with the help of the fans.
Sunday could see FCA finally reach their season target of 40 points. Only Mainz stand in their way. “Both us and Mainz have very similar playing styles and traits,” said Manuel Baum at his pre-match press conference. “I was at their game on Monday and saw just how difficult it will be for us. Mainz have a very good mentality and a healthy relationship between the players, coaches and management. They are capable of both sitting back and pressing high and are physically strong. Our mindset will be crucial on Sunday. I don’t need to tell my players what’s at stake; they know it already and are motivated,” explained Baum.
Nevertheless, the coach is hoping for an extra push from the stands. “Our fans were amazing against Bayern. They aren’t just behind us when it’s going our way, they are always there. We need the players on the pitch and the supporters in the stands to intertwine. We also want to give them something in return and get back to winning ways at home. We can kill three birds with one stone on Sunday: reach the 40-point mark, get a home win and secure our top-flight status,” noted Baum. Rani Khedira also only has victory in sight this weekend: “The second half of the season hasn’t been ideal, but we can be happy with our 37 points and could tick off one of our boxes with games to spare. We have four matches left and will give our all.”
Manuel Baum will continue to be without Raphael Framberger and Kilian Jakob on Sunday, while Daniel Baier has also picked up a cold to go along with his tinnitus and will sit out the visit of Mainz as well.