After a four-week break FC Augsburg begin the second half of the season on Saturday January 18th (15:30 CET), welcoming last year’s Bundesliga runners up Borussia Dortmund to the WWK-ARENA. FCA head coach Martin Schmidt sees his side as the underdogs, but adds that “they have some things to make up for”.
The last time FCA played Dortmund, things could not have gotten off to a better start, as after only 31 seconds, Florian Niederlechner scored the opener in the club’s first league game of the season. The fact that Dortmund would then go on to score five more times ruined what had been a dream start. “We definitely have a lot to make up for from our performance in that first game and we want to show what we have learned since autumn,” announced Martin Schmidt. While others may say that Borussia Dortmund is an unfortunate opponent to have to face in the first game of the Rückrunde – as BVB is one of the top teams in the league, after all – the Swiss sees this as an advantage. Playing against “one of the big ones” helps to keep the tension high. At the same time, the game is an opportunity to test endurance, while putting the tried-and-tested tactics to work and focusing on details.
We want to show what we have learned since autumn – Martin Schmidt
Schmidt can begin work with “25, or 26 men”. Apart from Simon Asta (ACL injury), Sergio Cordova (ankle problems) and Iago (Olympic qualification with Brazil U23s), the rest of the Augsburg squad are “all in training”.
FCA want to make it “uncomfortable” for the opponents
FCA will welcome BVB to the WWK-ARENA, a team which recently signed young talented forward Erling Haaland, causing a media frenzy. Schmidt described the transfer as “good for the Bundesliga”, but warned about the danger of the entire Dortmund attacking line. The FCA defence must “make things uncomfortable” for the BVB attacking line and “tip the scales”, and teach the new Dortmund player that this is not just Augsburg who will play like this.”If you start the second half of the season against an opponent like this, with the entire stadium sold out, then the anticipation is huge,” the head coach summarised. FCA have won each of their last three home games, so the fans can look forward to an exciting game on Saturday afternoon.