After the spectacular, though bitter, 5-3 home defeat against Borussia Dortmund, FCA travel to Union Berlin on Saturday, 25th January (15:30 CET). The team are hoping to pick up their first points of the year, though head coach Martin Schmidt says that the game against Union will be completely different than the one against Dortmund.
FCA received many plaudits from all sides for their courageous display against eventual winners Dortmund. The praise was appreciated by Martin Schmidt, but the bottom line was that for all the praise, the end result was still a loss. Against Union the side want to take something more valuable back home to the WWK-Arena – points.
“We underperformed last week and now we want to take the points back home with us, “explained Schmidt ahead of the match against Union. After Union, FCA’s next opponents in the league are Bremen and Frankfurt, and all three teams are below Augsburg in the table. “These are the kinds of games which we should be taking points from,” explained the head coach, whose side sit in tenth place. “The teams below us want to overtake us, but we must defend our position.”
Schmidt: “We need to mentally prepare for what awaits us”
Union are currently sitting in 12th place, with three points less than FCA. This lead will assuredly be on the minds of FCA, as they hope to extend their lead. Compared to the start they made against BVB, Schmidt expects a completely different game against the capital city side. “This will be a game with lots of long balls, lots of set.pieces, and a lot of the second ball – a struggling game,” the 52-year old Swiss expects, “We need to mentally prepare for what awaits us.”
In any case, the team that will face FCA on Saturday are one that are extremely good at home. 15 of Union’s 20 points came from their home fixtures, and they’ve seen off the likes of Dortmund (3-1) and Gladbach (2-0) from their fortress in the capital. “Union is a team that is very strong at home,” Schmidt analysed. “Everyone knows their role and everyone knows everyone else’s role. But they also know how they’ve gotten here, and they don’t get affected by setbacks.”
Finnbogason could make return – Jensen and Oxford doubts
Iago (Olympic team qualification), Cordova ( rehab training) and Julian Schieber (muscle problems) did not make the journey to the capital. While Alfred Finnbogason could stand to make his return from a shoulder injury, it is still touch and go as to whether or not Fredrik Jensen (intestinal problems), or Reece Oxford (wisdom teeth) can make the squad. Regardless of who makes the final team, each player will play an important role on Saturday. “It’s all about who will win the tackles,” Schmidt said, sure of himself, emphasising that, ”we want to trip them up.” Then his team can make the return journey with both compliments and points.