Back-to-back wins over AZ Alkmaar mean FC Augsburg approach Thursday’s clash with Athletic Club at the WWK Arena in second spot in Group K and eyeing a major step towards the knockout stages in their maiden European campaign (kick-off: 19:00CET/18:00GMT).
Markus Weinzierl’s side, who recorded their highest-ever Bundesliga victory with a 4-0 triumph at VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 13, would move level on points with the Spanish giants with a win. Athletic, however, only need to avoid defeat to qualify; and three points for the Basque outfit would leave FCA facing a shoot-out for second place in Belgrade with FK Partizan in early December.
- Augsburg have won twice and lost twice in their debut European campaign. The lack of draws is no surprise: Die Fuggerstädter only played out four draws en route to a fifth-place Bundesliga finish last season - a league low.
- Weinzierl’s side took the lead in Bilbao on Matchday 1 but ended up suffering a 3-1 defeat.
- Athletic have won one and drawn three of their four previous European ties in Germany.
- Raul Bobadilla, who netted a hat-trick in FCA’s 4-1 win against Alkmaar last time out, is the first man to have scored a treble for two different clubs in the Europa League: he scored all three goals in Young Boys’ win over Udinese three seasons ago.
- Athletic were losing finalists in this competition in 2012.
- Augsburg’s win at Stuttgart at the weekend was only their second of the Bundesliga season: as many as they have recorded in the Europa League.
Augsburg: Hitz – Verhaegh, Callsen-Bracker, Klavan, Max – Baier, Kohr – Esswein, Altintop, Caiuby - Bobadilla
Athletic Club: Iraizoz – De Marcos, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga – San Jose, Benat – Williams, Raul Garcia, Susaeta - Aduriz