FC Augsburg welcome current Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund to the WWK ARENA on Friday, 1st March (20:30 CET). Despite the heavy defeat in Freiburg on Saturday, FCA attacker Michael Gregoritsch is certainly not thinking about potential relegation from the top tier. With the thrilling previous meeting between the two sides in the back of their minds, a last gasp 4-3 defeat in the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, FCA want to return to winning ways.
FC Augsburg head coach Manuel remembers only too well how his side fell to a dramatic late defeat in Dortmund earlier this season. Despite a brave, courageous performance and coming from behind twice, FCA simply couldn’t hold on. However, Baum wants his side to play just as courageously at home against the Bundesliga leaders on Friday night. “We all know how well we played in Dortmund. Of course it is good to have these positive images in your head going into a rematch. We also know how important this match will be for Dortmund. They return to Champions League action next week and are currently only three points clear of FC Bayern München in the Bundesliga table.” Augsburg want to give their fans something to cheer about by pressing the visitors and putting themk under pressure. “If we prevent Dortmund from having any time to build-up their style of play and we press against them, we can definitely take something against BVB.”
Importance of togetherness in the squad
In the pre match press conference on Wednesday, FCA midfielder Michael Gregoritsch had complementary words to say regarding his teammates and most importantly the community feel within the squad. “We have spoken together both as players and with the coaching team. We have all been very clear with each other and the response to the disappointing result in Freiburg has been very good. We are a team.” Ahead of the Dortmund match, FCA know that they will be without the services of loanee Reece Oxford, who has received a three match suspension following his red card in Freiburg. According to Baum, André Hahn is set to make a return to the squad after recovering from injury.
At the same time, Borussia Dortmund are expecting to have Marco Reus back from injury for the match in the WWK ARENA. Nevertheless, Baum is prepared to face BVB’s top scorer if he is fit. “It is always to difficult to return to a match when you’ve been injured. Of course Marco Reus is a fantastic footballer and we are ready to face him and his teammates. We have secured points against Reus and Dortmund before so can do it again.”