All In for Augsburg
Markus Weinzierl prepares team for Bundesliga survival
SGL Arena, May 17 – The two years in the Bundesliga have not been easy for FC Augsburg. After earning promotion in May 2011, they remained near the bottom of the table and were close to going back. Augsburg hung on by winning twice and drawing twice the last four matchdays.
The major issues were the offense, scoring only 49 goals, and the budget to compete with the top clubs to strengthen the attack. FCA and the coach who led them to promotion Jos Luhukay parted ways a year ago, and the club took a chance on relative unknown Markus Weinzierl, coaching at SSV Jahn Regensburg since 2006 and was at the helm leading them to promotion to the second division at the of last season. Meanwhile, Augsburg didn’t add much firepower in the summer, but heading into the season, hopes were high.
For Weinzierl, the move from the lower divisions of German professional soccer to the top flight was a different world and he was unable to change the team’s performance in the first half of the season, earning only one win and sitting in the drop zone.
The second half of the season started positive, a win and three draws after the winter break and a streak of three wins in four matches lifted FCA to the relegation playoff spot in the standings, and signs pointed to keeping that momentum. However, three losses the last four weeks have kept the club just out of the safety zone due to goal differential, and will need to earn points in the season finale against SpVgg Greuther Fürth and hope for help.
Greuther have already been relegated but Weinzierl warns it won’t be easy come kickoff.
“We need our best performance to beat Fürth. They have won their last two away games without conceding a goal, have outwardly proven that they are Bundesliga quality team. However, we have won our last two home games without conceding a goal. Everyone believes that we can achieve our goal, and in return we will give everything. “
Credit should be given to Weinzierl to get the club into this scenario, to even have a chance to stay in the top flight. They witnessed FC Bayern’s championship celebration last week live at the Allianz Arena, and are hoping for a similar celebration, if not a collective sigh of relief.
“We have been working hard for a strong second half of the season to have the chance to avoid relegation on the final day,” explained Weinzierl to a row of thirteen TV cameras and a live national audience. “Now we can secure a place in the playoff (or better) with a win. That’s our goal. We want to cross the finish line on a positive note. After the game we will then look at how Dusseldorf has played and we’ll know how the final table looks.”
Kickoff between FCA and SpVgg as well as all other Bundesliga matches are at 15:30 CET.
Scenarios for FC Augsburg on the final Bundesliga Match Day
Augsburg stay in the Bundesliga…
FCA win, Fortuna Dusseldorf loss or draw
FCA draw, Fortuna loss
Augsburg play Relegation Playoff vs. 1.FC Kaiserslautern…
FCA win, Fortuna win, Hoffenheim loss or draw
FCA draw, Fortuna draw, Hoffenheim loss or draw
FCA loss, Hoffenheim loss or draw
Augsburg are automatically relegated…
FCA loss, Hoffenheim win
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