#TSGFCA Preview: “I’m proud of the team”

One last time in the Bundesliga, one last game at home. TSG host FC Augsburg on Saturday in a clash that has a lot riding on it. TSG will be hoping to secure direct qualification for the Champions League, whilst FCA are fighting to retain their top-flight status. Julian Nagelsmann and tell you everything you need to know ahead of this season finale.

Julian Nagelsmann on…

… the opposition:

Augsburg have a similar way of playing to how Bremen did last weekend. Their big strength is on the counter, so we should not be naive going into this. We need to avoid being hit on the counterattack despite our attacking strengths. It is not vital for them that they win in order to avoid finishing in the relegation play-off which is why I think they will be defensive to begin with.

… personnel:

Nadiem Amiri took a hit to his knee in training on Wednesday and was complaining that he had some pain afterwards. We want to get that settled quickly with the match against Augsburg coming up and the summer. We don’t want him to start the summer with an injury. Our scans did not reveal anything. He will be available for Saturday. Benjamin Hübner on the other hand will not be involved as he is still in some pain. The doctors recommended that he doesn’t do any sport in the next two or three weeks since he’s had some memory loss and is still feeling the effects of his concussion.

… the sporting situation I:

The team is still fresh and getting on with training well. We’ve achieved the most important objective of our season. We want to make sure we do our homework for Saturday and get three points. Then we’ll see how Dortmund get on. The goal difference is not something we will be thinking about ahead of this match but that could change over the course of the game if the situation permits.

… the sporting situation II:

Obviously my desire before the start of the season was that we would be in the position we are now in but I didn’t expect us to achieve this type of form. Our target from the very beginning was to play good football, keep possession and break down teams. We didn’t just want to be chasing second balls, so I am really proud, especially of the way in which we’ve achieved this success. The players have done a huge amount for me and my career in the past 15 months. That also includes players who are not at the club anymore like Tobias Strobl and Jin-Su Kim. The fact is, we could still have had a better season, especially before the winter break when we were the better side in a lot of games but were unable to capitalise on that. We could have had a few more points. But at the same time you need to have a sense of perspective and be proud of what you’ve achieved.

… the sporting situation III:

The key moments this season were in two games, the 4-4 draw in Mainz and our dominant victory over Schalke in the game following that. Without those games, we would probably be somewhere mid-table but certainly not as high up as we are. It was 4-1 to Mainz at the break and I was really vocal in the changing room. That was something new for the players. Theyc could have just said, “He’s shouting at us, we’re done.” But instead they showed a reaction and we should have actually won the match in the end. That was so important.

Record between the teams so far:

The two sides have faced each other 23 times, 11 of which have come in the Bundesliga. TSG have the better record by far, winning six of those encounters compared to FCA’s three victories. Furthermore TSG have won all of their last three fixtures with Augsburg.

Opposition’s form:

Augsburg 14th in the table with 37 points. They could in theory still finish in the relegation spot but Manuel Baum’s men have been in good form recently, beating HSV 4-0 at home as well as grinding out a point against both Gladbach and Dortmund.

The key duel:

There are a number of reasons why the fourth-placed side are so far ahead of the Fuggerstädter. A particularly obvious one would be their quality of finishing. While both teams have had a similarly high number of shots on goal, TSG have taken more of these opportunities. TSG have scored 17.9% of their chances in front of goal compared to FCAA whose conversion rate is just 12.6%. For TSG, Saturday will be about being clinical in front of goal, an ability that Julian Nagelsmann’s team have been outstanding at this season.

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