After securing important points against high-flying Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, FC Augsburg will hope to add to their points tally at home against Hannover 96 on Saturday (15:30 CET). Although Hannover are currently in the relegation zone, FCA head coach expects it to be a challenging match.
In the battle against Bundesliga relegation, FC Augsburg and Hannover 96 meet in what could be described as a ‘six-pointer.’ Although FCA have an eight point advantage over Saturday’s opponents, Manuel Baum believes the home clash could be a tense and even affair. “We are making progress and have secured two positive results in the last two weeks. However, Hannover played well against Leverkusen and fought really hard. They proved they have a lot of mental strength and they nearly took a precious point out of the match.”
Preparations for this match have not been easy for Baum and his side. “Hannover are an incredibly difficult side to figure out. They are a flexible side who can play with a back three or return to a back four. They can play with one defensive midfielder or with two or in a different formation completely. We have to find a solution to play them without changing our formation too much. They possess a lot of self-confidence following their performance against Leverkusen, but we also have lots of confidence following the Leipzig game. We will have to adapt to play these opponents.”
After recovering from a muscle injury, Marco Richter made his comeback in the 0-0 draw in Leipzig last weekend. The 21-year-old FCA academy product came off the bench to replace Sergio Córdova in the 59th minute. Richter now wants to give everything he has once more to help his team in the battle against relegation. “The injury set me back a bit but I showed against Leipzig that I can still help the team with good performances. Throughout this week in training, I’ve been giving 100% and I hope to help the team further in forthcoming weeks. It doesn’t make a difference if I start or come off the bench. I also give everything I have when I come on as a substitute!”
Using the team stability to secure another victory
FCA naturally want to build on the good performances shown against Dortmund and Leipzig. Manuel Baum wants his side to show the same intensity on Saturday against Hannover. “It is really important for us to show the same passion on the pitch on Saturday as we have done in each of our last two matches. We once again need stability in defence and need to react well to when we lose the ball. We need to be flexible to different tactics too.”
Saturday’s match against Hannover 96 also marks the club’s annual members day and the team will look to reward the fans with a strong performance and all three points.