Augsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt preview:
Frankfurt look to finish off sensational week
By Jonathan Dicks @Jonathan_Dicks
Frankfurt are growing in confidence following another extraordinary European night this week, while injury-plagued Augsburg haven't won in over a month.
|Evan Ndicka.||Photo: Sven Mandel, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Augsburg are coming off a brutal extra-time loss to Stuttgart last weekend, but have done just enough to steer clear of the relegation zone so far. The Ermedin Demirovic summer swap for Michael Gregoritsch is really starting to work out for the Bavarian club with Demirovic showing decent form up front (5 goals).
Augsburg have a major problem in midfield this week with Carlos Gruezo and Elvis Rexhbecaj suspended. The good news is that both Reece Oxford and Rafal Gikiewicz will return to the squad, but it's unclear if either will start.
Gritty Augsburg are winless in their last five competitive games since the narrow victory over Schalke in early October.
Enrico Maaßen said, “Frankfurt have been on a run and have a lot of players who are in a good mood. We know what to expect. But we have prepared something and want to try to impose our game.”
Augsburg's lengthy injury list includes Tobias Strobl, Noah Sarenren Bazee, Andre Hahn, Niklas Dorsch and Robert Gumny. Oxford will be a squad option, while Gikiewicz is questionable.
Gruezo and Rexhbecaj are both serving yellow-card suspensions.
Frankfurt are riding high following their magical comeback over Sporting midweek. They'll have to refocus back to league action, but one cannot ignore the sheer magnitude of a club like Eintracht reaching the Champions League round of 16.
After being removed at halftime for tackling-machine Sebastian Rode, Jesper Lindstrøm will likely start once again on Saturday with Daichi Kamada out with a sickness. Randal Kolo Muani has been nearly unstoppable at striker this season and Mario Götze has provided so much creativity offensively.
With last week's controversial loss against Dortmund, Die Adler need three points to get themselves back into the top four.
Oliver Glasner commented, "It will come down to embracing the intensity and the challenges, and being more alert than the opponents. We want to avoid the challenges with quick combinations and get Augsburg running."
Kamada and Timothy Chandler are out due to illnesses. Christopher Lenz won't be back this weekend, while Makoto Hasebe and Aurelio Buta remain out.
With several players having already returned from injury and others nearing a comeback, in his press conference, Glasner gave, "Huge credit to our medical department!"