Augsburg vs Hertha BSC preview:
Can Magath conjure up a victory?
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Another Bundesliga matchday means another crucial match in the battle to remain in the top flight. On Saturday, it is the turn of Augsburg and Hertha BSC to face off in an encounter, which could have huge reprecussions in the relegation fight.
Augsburg enter Saturday's contest six points above the relegation zone after enjoying a recent run of positive results.
In their last six matches, Augsburg have collected more points than any other side in the Bundesliga bottom six.
Markus Weinzierl's side did lose their last fixture, although they put up a valiant fight against league leaders Bayern Munich, losing 1-0 after Robert Lewandowski struck from the spot in the 82nd minute.
Anything against the champions would have been considered a bonus, but the Fuggerstädter will acknowledge that Saturday's meeting with Hertha offers the chance to alleviate their relegation fears with a victory.
Although, Augsburg could find themselves in limbo as a draw would also prove useful because it would prevent Hertha from closing the gap.
Recent signs suggest Augsburg could be in line to claim at least a point on Saturday, with their last seven home league games resulting in just one defeat.
The hosts will also be aiming to continue their impressive goalscoring form at the WWK Arena, as the Fuggerstädter have scored in their last 13 home league games.
Felix Uduokhai is still out due to a hip problem, although Carlos Gruezo will return to the squad after missing the match against Bayern through suspension.
Hertha's survival bid suffered a demoralising blow last weekend, as they fell to a 4-1 home defeat against city rivals Union Berlin.
Not only did the derby loss dent confidence, but it was the third time that Hertha had lost to their neighbours this season.
The defeat in the Berlin derby also prolongs Hertha's woeful run of form, with their last 13 matches in all competitions yielding just one victory. Unfortunately for Saturday's visitors, no Bundesliga side has picked up fewer points than them in 2022. Hertha's 12 league games this calendar year have resulted in five measly points, which has contributed to Die Alte Dame occupying a relegation spot.
Despite their poor run of results, Hertha find themselves a point adrift of safety, while they are currently level on points with Arminia Bielefeld who reside in the relegation playoff place.
On the face of it, an away encounter against a relegation rival represents a great opportunity to pick up three points, but Hertha have not won a Bundesliga away game since a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in October, while their last four away trips have all ended in defeat.
Stevan Jovetic was forced off in the derby, and he will miss Saturday's contest through injury, although there is positive news with Marvin Plattenhardt and Niklas Stark available for selection.