Resurgent home form the key

FC Augsburg's sole goal this season is once again to beat the drop. To that end, they strengthened significantly over the winter, with seven new signings brought in to help achieve that aim. However, a defeat against TSG Hoffenheim on Friday (20:30 CET / Live Ticker at would exacerbate their plight.

FC Augsburg are in the same position that they have always been in over the last few years: lower mid-table. Augsburg have finished each of the past seven seasons between 12th and 15th place in the table and, with 13th their current placement, are on course to do so again this season. FCA have only crossed the 40-point threshold once during those years. Augsburg are somewhere between mid-table regulars and too good to go down.

If they are to be playing top-flight football next season too, it was important that FCA rediscover the strong home form that eluded them in the first half-season. Having managed only one victory in their first eight home games – a 1-0 triumph against FC Bayern Munich – Enrico Maaßen's charges have won both of their matches at the WWK Arena this calendar year (1-0 against Mönchengladbach and Leverkusen). FCA are in the top third of the table when it comes to chance conversion but have created the fewest chances in the Bundesliga. They are set up to play on the counter; Augsburg are the team with the lowest possession statistics (44%, joint with Hertha and Union) and the worst pass completion rate (70.9%).

The squad gained more strength in depth in January. Seven new players arrived – four of whom have already been involved in goals. Coach Enrico Maaßen has therefore succeeded in integrating the new signings quickly. FCA have particularly striven to make their squad younger, with the currently injured Irvin Cardona (25) the only arrival over 22 years of age. Players previously unknown to the wider public such as Arne Engels, who joined from the Club Bruges reserves, and striker Dion Beljo, who arrived from NK Osijek in Croatia, are now the bearers of hope in Bavarian Swabia.

The recently strained personnel situation has improved, with Iago, Ruben Vargas and Reece Oxford all expected to be available again. Coach Maaßen will be without experienced heads André Hahn and Tobias Strobl, who are out with long-term injuries, and new signing Cardona. There's still a question mark over Niklas Dorsch's involvement, with the U21 European champion from 2021 forced to miss training this week.


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