Augsburg - A pair of wounded Bundesliga souls round off the Matchday 9 action on Sunday evening as FC Augsburg welcome VfL Wolfsburg to the SGL-Arena (kick-off 17:30 CET).
'Full of confidence'
Die Fuggerstädter are without a win in three, while the Wolves' topsy-turvy travails continued apace prior to the international break with a Lower Saxony derby defeat to lowly Eintracht Braunschweig.
"We will put everything into trying to pick up three points," affirmed Augsburg head coach Markus Weinzierl. "We also want to keep Wolfsburg at arm's length. Even though we're ahead in the standings, they're still the clear favourites, but we go into the game full of confidence and wanting to lay down a marker on home turf."
Augsburg's ability to grind out results in front of their own fans stands them in good stead in any case, with Weinzierl's charges already four points better off than at the same juncture last term, having won two and drawn one on home soil since their opening day humbling at the hands of Borussia Dortmund.
Three points dropped
Wolfsburg's home form (W3, L1) is better still, the recent defeat to Braunschweig notwithstanding, but it's their toothless showing on the road (L4) that ensures they make the 603-kilometere trip south not just short of confidence, but also a point worse off than their Bavarian hosts and only three clear of the relegation zone.
"To be honest, we're still lamenting the three points we dropped against Braunschweig," admitted Wolves head coach Dieter Hecking. "We're going through a tricky stage and need to pick up points wherever possible. To be successful, though, you need to be relaxed as well as having belief in your abilities."
'Have to pull together'
In their bid to make it a hat-trick of home wins, Augsburg will have to do without Ragnar Klavan, suspended following his red card offence against FC Schalke 04 last time out, with South Korean Jeong-Ho Hong the most likely ally for Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker at centre half. Matthias Ostrzolek is a major doubt, while striker Raul Bobadilla (knee) is still to return to team training.
Sunday's visitors will likewise have to make at least one change, after Christian Träsch twisted an ankle in training on Thursday. Examinations revealed the 26-year-old suffered a hair-line fracture in his left foot, with a three-week hiatus the projected lay-off for the makeshift full back, who joins Ja-Cheol Koo (ankle) on the sidelines. "I feel really sorry for Christian," lamented Hecking. "Now others will have to take on the responsibility and we will all have to pull together."
FC Augsburg: Manninger - Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Hong, Ostrzolek - Baier - Hahn, Moravek, Halil Altintop, T. Werner - Mölders
VfL Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Medojevic, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez - Polak, Luiz Gustavo - Arnold, Diego, M. Schäfer - Olic
Take a look at Wolfsburg hero Diego's top five goals on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: