Augsburg are in the middle of the “new manager bounce”, as they hope to continue their improved form against a tired Frankfurt side to end a chilly Matchday 13.
|Photo: FC Augsburg
Since Jess Thorup took control in mid-October, Augsburg haven’t lost a match with two wins and three draws. They now sit 10th in the table and feel comfortably removed from the relegation conversation at the moment.
Ermedin Demirovic is thriving in a slightly deeper role behind Phillip Tietz with seven goals and three assists in league play. Augsburg have allowed just three goals in as many games due to a nice defensive partnership forming between Jeffrey Gouweleeuw and Felix Uduokhai.
In his presser, Thorup commented, "Frankfurt have a young team with a lot of quality and speed. We have to be ready to work well against the ball, but there will also be opportunities for us."
Irvin Cardona and Robert Gumny are unavailable with illnesses, while it’s too soon for Arne Maier. Reece Oxford and Raphael Framberger will remain out.
The games are coming from everywhere for Eintracht, whose injury list is starting to be a major concern. They lost midweek to PAOK, but have still advanced to the Conference League knockout stage.
The loss to Stuttgart last weekend was their first league defeat in six matches, as Dino Toppmöller has steered this side to 7th in the table despite some troubles in front of goal. They're depending on Omar Marmoush up front and versatile wingers Junior Dina Ebimbe and Ansgar Knauff, but will definitely be busy in the winter transfer window.
With Ellyes Skhiri out on Sunday, Toppmöller hinted that he’s choosing between 39-year-old Makoto Hasebe, Kristijan Jakic, Mario Götze, or even Ebimbe to fill the no. 6 role.
The trainer commented, “We can’t tell exactly how long Ellyes will be out for. We’ll just have to see how things develop. - Jakic, Götze and Dina Ebimbe are all in contention for Sunday. The workload is currently very high for every player and we’re trying to manage it as best we can.”
Skhiri, Timothy Chandler, Jens Petter Hauge, Sebastian Rode, and Mehdi Loune are out. Robin Koch is expected to be in the squad once again.