With both sides embroiled in one of the fiercest relegation battles in recent history, both Augsburg and Ingolstadt find themselves in a must-win situation ahead of their clash on Wednesday (kick-off 20:00 CEST/18:00 GMT).
Following their demoralising 6-0 loss against league leaders Bayern Munich on Matchday 26, Augsburg now find themselves in the bottom three heading into the business end of the campaign. While the likes of Werder Bremen, Hamburg and Wolfsburg have rediscovered their form, Manuel Baum’s charges have picked up just five points from a possible 21 in recent weeks.
Die Schanzer are one of just two fellow cellar-dwellers that Augsburg are still to face between now and the end of the season and, if they are to survive, these are the games they have to be taking points from.
However, that is easier said than done against an Ingolstadt side, who picked up a potentially pivotal victory over Mainz last time out.
Another victory on Wednesday would see Maik Walpurgis’ men close the gap on Augsburg to just four points. With games against Darmstadt and Wolfsburg to follow, Ingolstadt’s performances during GOALMANIA will go a long way to determining their fate in the battle to beat the drop.
- After Matchday 20, Augsburg had an eight-point lead over 16th position. But they have won only one of their last seven Bundesliga matches – taking just five points from a possible 21.
- Augsburg have not kept a clean sheet in 2017. Their last shutout was on Matchday 15 – a 1-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on December 17.
- Paul Verhaegh is set to play his 200th competitive game for Augsburg.
- Ingolstadt face four relegation rivals in their next four matches: Augsburg, Darmstadt, Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen.
- People often talk about a difficult second year for a promoted club. But the facts prove that the first year is toughest. A total of 39 per cent of promoted clubs are relegated after their first season back in the top flight, only 24 per cent in the second year and 27 per cent in their fourth year.
- There are only two Paraguayan players in the Bundesliga at the moment: Augsburg’s Raul Bobadilla and Ingolstadt’s Dario Lezcano.