Augsburg - In spite of their miserable record so far this season, FC Augsburg are confident of being able to drag themselves off the foot of the table at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 17:30 CET).
Glimmer of hope
Four defeats from their last four games and only eight goals to show from over 1,000 minutes of football this term may make for depressing reading, yet the mood in the home camp is nevertheless one of cautious optimism.
While the results and statistics are damning, they only tell part of the story. Augsburg may be the worst away team in the league, but at home the Bavarians are made of sterner stuff. In their last two outings at the SGL Arena, against Hamburger SV and Borussia Dortmund, coach Markus Weinzierl's charges played well and caused their opponents numerous problems before their own porous backline put paid to any hopes of collecting points.
"We want to build on our good performances in our last home games, but obviously come away with rather more," said Weinzierl. There are signs that the team is starting to come good. Striker netted his first goal of the season in the defeat at Frankfurt last week, while fellow attacker Sascha Mölders has hit two in as many games since returning from injury. A further source of hope is Augsburg's recent record against Gladbach, taking four points from them last season, including a 1-0 victory in the corresponding fixture.
That defeat evidently still rankles with the visitors, who are out to make amends. "We want to do what didn't manage to last year," said goalkeeper , who insisted he and his team-mates will be able to focus on domestic duties following Thursday's 2-0 Europa League victory against AEL Limassol. "We know what our core business is and we're looking forward to the game," said the 20-year-old.
The omens are good for the Foals, who have not lost a Bundesliga fixture immediately after playing in Europe so far this season. What is more, Lucien Favre's charges have picked up maximum points when playing on a Sunday following European competition. will look to pull the strings from midfield once more, with and Igor de Camargo sharing goalscoring responsibility in attack.
Augsburg: Amsif - Callsen-Bracker, S. Langkamp, Klavan, Ostrzolek - Vogt, Baier - Koo, Oehrl, Petrzela - Mölders
Gladbach: ter Stegen - Stranzl, Brouwers, Dominguez, Wendt - Nordtveit, Marx - Rupp, Arango, Herrmann - de Camargo