Germany: Bundesliga
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Augsburg
Hoffenheim
E. Demirović (53)
W. Weghorst (23)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim preview: Jess Thorup looking to remain unbeaten

Jess Thorup will try to maintain his unbeaten record as Augsburg head coach when his side take on Hoffenheim on Saturday.

Augsburg


Augsburg experienced a difficult start to the season, winning one, drawing two and losing four of their opening seven league games. The Augsburg board ultimately decided to make a change following a 2-1 defeat to Darmstadt, as they opted to sack Enrico Maaßen and replace him with Thorup.

The former Copenhagen boss made an immediate impact, kicking off his tenure with a 5-2 win over Heidenheim, before seeing his side come from behind to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 in his first home game in charge. The Fuggerstädter were unable to claim another victory last weekend, but they managed to continue their unbeaten start under Thorup with a 1-1 draw against Köln. Linton Maini opened the scoring for Steffen Baumgart’s side, before Phillip Tietz restored parity in the 25th minute, and with neither side able to find a winner, they both had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Having taken their tally to 12 points, Augsburg will head into the weekend in 10th position, with six points separating them from Saturday’s opponents, who currently occupy sixth place. The Fuggerstädter may fancy their chances of closing that gap after beating Hoffenheim 1-0 in their most recent meeting.
Team News

The hosts are unable to call upon David Colina, Arne Maier, Reece Oxford, Frederik Winther and Raphael Framberger. Meanwhile, Felix Uduokhai will return to the side after serving a one-match suspension.

Hoffenheim


After winning four of their opening five Bundesliga games, Hoffenheim have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, having won two and lost three of their last five league matches.

Since claiming their most recent win over Stuttgart at the end of October, Hoffenheim have gone on to lose consecutive matches in the DFB-Pokal and the Bundesliga. A 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the cup was followed by last weekend’s 3-2 loss to league leaders Bayer Leverkusen. After falling behind by two goals, Hoffenheim fought back to level the scoreline thanks to efforts from Anton Stach and Wout Weghorst. However, Álex Grimaldo found the net in the 70th minute to restore Leverkusen’s advantage and condemn Hoffenheim to a third consecutive home defeat.

While Hoffenheim have struggled on home turf, they have fared well on their travels, having won all five of their away league games this season. Impressively, they have scored at least two goals in each of those five victories.
Team News

Mërgim Berisha, Pavel Kaderabek and Marco John are all ruled out with knee injuries. The visitors are also without the services of Robert Skov, Florian Grillitsch and Dennis Geiger.

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