FC Augsburg: Liverpool’s Europa League opponents in troubled form ahead of round-of-32 clash


With Thursday night bringing the first of Liverpool’s two legs against Europa League round-of-32 opponents FC Augsburg, the German side are in failing form.

Two months after being drawn against Augsburg in the Europa League’s first knockout stage, Liverpool head to Germany for the first leg of what promises to be an interesting encounter.

Sunday’s 6-0 win away to Aston Villa has provided Jurgen Klopp‘s side with the momentum needed to secure a result at Augsburg’s WWK Arena, and this will be magnified by the Bundesliga outfit’s recent poor form.

Liverpool find themselves in a strong position heading into this round-of-32 clash, with Augsburg struggling to find consistency in a frenetic 2015/16 campaign.


Current Form

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When Liverpool were drawn against Augsburg in the middle of December, Markus Weinzierl’s side were 13th in the Bundesliga, on 16 points.

Shortly after, Augsburg faced up to Klopp’s former side Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal, falling to a 2-0 defeat courtesy of goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, before securing a comfortable 1-0 league win away to HSV to round off the first half of the season.

After the Bundesliga’s winter break, Weinzierl has struggled to coax form out of his side, overseeing two draws and two defeats.

Augsburg’s last outing before Thursday night’s clash came at home to Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich, with the Fuggerstadter losing 3-1.

That outing saw a late Raul Bobadilla strike reduce the deficit at the WWK Arena, after a brace from Robert Lewandowski and another from Thomas Muller.

Augsburg now sit 14th in the Bundesliga table, with 21 points from 21 games, and three points adrift of 13th-placed SV Darmstadt 98.

Only six points separate Weinzierl’s men and the relegation zone, and welcoming a Liverpool side buoyed by Sunday’s 6-0 win away to Aston Villa, Augsburg face a major challenge to rewrite their form and push for progress to the Europa League’s round of 16.


Key Players

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Since the winter break, Augsburg have kept two clean sheets in four games, and much of this is due to the strong performances of goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.

Despite conceding three goals against Bayern last time out, the Switzerland international is confident Augsburg can “do better against Liverpool,” and told Sport1 that he was looking for a bullish defensive performance from his side.

“We know that we can defend very well as against Bayern in the first half, and we will also show against Liverpool,” he said, hinting that Augsburg will look to damage the Reds on the counter.

If they are to manage this, they will be looking to Bobadilla to make the difference in the final third.

The 28-year-old has scored 11 goals in 25 appearances for Augsburg so far this season, and after ending a five-game Bundesliga goal draught with his strike against Bayern, will be looking to add to his tally of six in the Europa League on Thursday night.

A powerful centre-forward who likes to take the ball and drive at defences, Bobadilla should be Weinzierl’s key attacker against Liverpool.

Supporting Bobadilla in attack, left-sided Brazilian forward Caiuby will be equally as important as Augsburg look to strike on the break.

The 27-year-old complements his Paraguayan team-mate’s attacking force with typical South American flair, cutting inside to combine with his fellow attackers on the edge of the penalty area.

Caiuby could be Weinzierl’s X factor in this round-of-32 tie, providing Nathaniel Clyne with another test at right-back.


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The Augsburg View

While Weinzierl is presiding over a hit-and-miss campaign for Augsburg so far, the Bavarian outfit will be relishing their two legs against Liverpool, with this season marking their first foray into European football.

Weinzierl has inspired a rapid rise in fortunes at Augsburg, having joined the club from Jahn Regensburg in 2012, masterminding progressively improved finishes of 15th, eighth and fifth in the Bundesliga.

Though this is unlikely to continue this season, this cannot be deemed a failure.

Hitz summarised the feeling in the Augsburg camp heading into this two-legged clash as one of positivity, with Weinzierl’s squad looking to build on the club’s burgeoning success.

“We are very happy mood. It is a nice game for the whole club and the whole city,” he said.

“We have four days off from league stress and look forward to the game immensely.”

The goalkeeper went on to describe this fixture as a “reward” for Augsburg’s achievements over the past three seasons:

“You can tell that it means the people very much. This is a huge highlight, it has been long in the making.

“The fans have sacrificed many hours for away games and of course the chance to see Liverpool at home or abroad, is something beautiful.

“This one may well be regarded as a reward for the past few years.”

While the club have described this clash as “the biggest game in Augsburg history,” Hitz believes Augsburg will not shy away from the immensity of the occasion, saying “we are already used to playing every week in front of a large audience.”

Liverpool have struggled against lesser sides so far in 2015/16, instead thriving when classed as underdogs, and Augsburg could spring a surprise at the WWK Arena on Thursday night.

The confidence shown by Hitz provides Augsburg with a welcome springboard to arrest their recent poor form.

While they should head into this fixture as favourites, Liverpool must be wary of underestimating the Bundesliga’s relegation candidates.


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  1. Soooo their goalie is better than Mignolet? I only hope Ward gets to play in Europa considering Bogdan was allowed to otherwise, he’s wasting his time at liverpool

  2. Come on reds we can win the europa league…. Lets do it… Have a good feeling this time round… We are long overdue

  3. So what if Augsburg do get relegated but go on to win the Europa league,so does that mean they play champions league football as a second division team??

  4. Totally different situation… no matter how poor their form. .I’m not buying that when it comes to cup games.
    Get the strongest first eleven… go there and win comfortably… don’t wait till anfield visit. The pass to next round is this first leg itself.
    Win and come back home boys…

    • Totaly agree, the kids have done well when they’ve played but we’re into the buisiness end of the EL now and we need to start with our best 11, with no game this weekend it’s a no brainer imo, let’s hope klopp think’s the same.

      • Absolutely, put this one to bed tomorrow night and give some of the younger lads a taste of Annie on a European night in the return leg..

        • Hopefully that’s the case, we don’t want to have to play our best 11 at anfield seen that we have the cup final 3 days later, that wouldn’t be a good situation so ideally get a decent lead tomorrow night and have some of our best players on the bench at anfield just in case it goes pear shaped.

          • I gave up predicting what would happen on any football pitch around 1990, nothing is guaranteed tomorrow night but the ‘plan’ should definitely be to go for the biggest possible win, the last thing we want is the tie still in the balance three days before the trip to Wembley…

          • personally i think the tie will have plenty to be played for at anfield its a german team i expect them to be well drilled and disipline

          • Sure, I didn’t predict it would be easy, but it’s still an absolute fact we’ll be looking for a good result tomorrow and take the pressure off in the second leg, that’s pretty much indisputable even if there are no guarantees it will work out that way…

          • We are not usually confident when we are in front. Always been the same in our history. Klopp is such a massive coup for us , for me all previous natures of our character have gone out the window with this man. Love him.
            Jurgen our gaffer.

          • Sure, I didn’t predict it would be easy, but it’s still an absolute fact that we’ll be looking for a good result tomorrow and take the pressure off in the second leg, that’s pretty much indisputable even if there are no guarantees it will work out that way..

    • Absolutely right. Don’t be complacent. Get a good win and then rest the best 11 ahead of the COC final in the 2nd leg. When we have been complacent in just waiting to score rather than looking to score we have just faltered around.

    • Yes please , but easier said than done. A draw would be in line with the clubs past.
      We always kept it tight in the first leg away, then throw the kitchen sink at them at Anfield. Come on you reds!!!!

  5. They’re a good team with a very shrewd young manager and their rise has been nothing short of a fairy tail. They show a lot more spirit than any of the teams in the PL and Klopp would know it all too well. He wouldn’t take them lightly under any circumstances but I hope we can come away with a win in this one.

  6. Can’t wait for it. I’m sure Liverpool and fans will get a warm welcome from FC Augsburg and specially their national hero Klopp.

  7. My concern will be us being over confident after the 0-6, playing against a team that represents a wounded animal, just get the job done.

  8. We are not exactly consistent either. My fear is there striker. He’s a big unit. Hopefully we can cut out supply to him.They have up a lot of chances to Bayern at the weekend. If sturridge plays should get an away goal.

  9. Taking Sturridge-Coutinho-Firmino all off let’s us know where Klopp places this tie in the order of importance, very very high……..

  10. Wow! I’m surprised Augsburg consider this as one of their biggest nights in history…goes to show the level of prestige Liverpool still have in Europe.

    Also, a nice touch with regards to the picture above, interesting to see the Beatles pose with the players and the YNWA banner up above – never quite seen anything like it.

      • A game against Liverpool and playing against us at Anfield is still a very big thing for opposition clubs and players alike, don’t ever underestimate that. I would agree though that we can only live on our tradition and past success for so long, we need to build on it, not dwell on it and I’m confident we can, to what extent remains to be seen…

      • I said prestige, not being part of the elite. It’s a weird equation for sure…on the one hand clubs like Augsburg are so pumped about playing Liverpool and playing in Anfield, on the other we’re nowhere close to the top level at the moment. I can fully understand it though…that history, that football culture that the club brings with it is not completely gone.

        Don’t think you’d see them react this way if they were to face Chelsea. :P

    • Their history is incredibly limited in the top league, only since 2011 I believe. Very good article on TLO with Lahm’s comments on exactly this and the comment section goes into it further.
      Finishing 5th last season if that was what it was, was remarkable, bit like when Swansea came up I guess.

      • My only problem is that I don’t know what TLO is. I hope by answering me you won’t be on the receiving end of a tongue lash from TIA?

        • oh, sorry, the liverpool offside (you can google liverpool tlo), it’s another blog site like this one. I just assumed everyone kind of surfed around the different lfc blog sites as they all have different flavours to them.

    • Obviously, our prestige in Europe is one aspect…

      But it has also got to do with Klopp, i suspect…. He is a rockstar down there… and the fact that they haven’t played much in europe anyway…

      • Klopp on lead guitar, Zeljko Buvac on drums and Peter Krawietz on vocals, that would get the technical area rocking…

    • Wow another case of people making a comment without any research
      a quick glanse will tell you they have neverbeen in europe before its there first knockout match they played bilbao az and partizan in there group of course its one of their biggest nights

      • Alright perhaps my post came off the wrong way…I didn’t mean to discount the Europa League group stages context in the process but you can see in the quotes that they do consider playing Liverpool a big deal, or rather a bigger deal compared to other opposition.

        “The fans have sacrificed many hours for away games and of course the chance to see Liverpool at home or abroad, is something beautiful.

        “This one may well be regarded as a reward for the past few years.”

        • just saying they have 7 games to choose from the other 6 in the league stages ,for most it would be their biggest game unless they got a complete nobody in the draw and had a decent team in the league stage

  11. Kevin Stewart faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after sustaining ankle ligament damage in a training blocking a shot.

    Shows you the level of commitment and desire to show their talent in training in order to get picked. Ruing the injury for sure, but such an attitude is commendable.

  12. It’s being reported today that the Premier League are considering giving a bigger share of the new TV deal to clubs competing in the Europa League. The PL are worried that unless English clubs get back to winning in Europe the UEFA coefficients could result in the PL losing one of it’s Champions League places resulting in only the top three teams in the PL qualifying for the CL. It’s a concern and some extra revenue is always welcome but I’m still of the opinion that playing in Europe with the chance of reaching a final and winning a trophy should be all the incentive any club or player should need. If it’s not it’s a sad reflection on the modern game, I just want to go to another European final and have some adventures along the way…

    • The problem with Europa is the length of the competition. Something like 18 games to win it, that’s an extra half a season. Clubs basically lose money too in terms of having enough players to compete.

      • I’d have to agree the number of games involved is a little crazy, it would be a big problem if we were still in contention for top four or better in the league and still in the FA Cup. Once the Cap One final is out of the way we’re in a good position to give it a real go this season. I’ve got my flights and accommodation sussed for a trip to Switzerland on the 18th May, but obviously not booked yet….

      • 15 games if you’re a team that starts from group-stages without playing the qualifiers…only 2 more than Champions League. I see what you mean but the real competition only starts after the group stages in many ways. The level of teams we’re talking about in the group stage, it’s still 2 out of 3 opponents that you should be able to field a good number of youth and compete in the game.

        But yeah, a decent youth system and quality fringe players is something you probably need to manage the fixture list.

        • UEFA should change the format from having a group stage to a sudden death knockout tournament with more teams from each of the European leagues. An European FA Cup

        • I do get the impression Kloppo wants that 2nd string side at the club, part of keeping loanees at the club to build it. Easier to support the 1st team and develop their playing style and fit to the first team too.

          That will be great to see next season as they can take a big weight off the 1st team players especially in the 1st half of the season given we have good quality youngsters.

          Benteke let us down more than the youngsters this season when they were fielded.

    • Nice incentive if true. I think this is in line with the proposed changes we heard about yesterday with respect to not having FA Cup replays and having a one-legged SF Carling Cup fixture.

      • Probably but I think there’s a real concern about the Champions League allocation, Italy are gaining ground on England in the UEFA coefficient, if we lost one of our four CL places they’d be the beneficiary, simply put the FA and PL need English clubs to do better in all European competition..
        By the way the FA said yesterday that no changes to the FA Cup format could be implemented until 2018 due to existing TV rights..
        It’s still a little way off happening, if it does..

    • why would the premier league do that the tv company that pays for that deal are not concerned they are seperate deals
      the only way it could happen is if the sides getting into the CL where to agree to give the other sides money
      seems strange that its getting looked at now united are no longer sure to be in the CL every season

        • just think it would have to come out of the CL money why would say bournemouth want to give some of there money away

          • I’m not sure all the TV money has been allocated to the clubs, I’d be surprised if the PL don’t have a cosy little stash from it tucked away for a rainy day…
            Until they tell us exactly what they have in mind it’s all speculation anyway…

          • but the premiere league and europe are two different things i cannot see how money from one can be allocated to another when less than half the members play in the other

          • I can see where you’re coming from but until the PL actually tells us how they plan to implement it I can’t really tell you, it’s just being reported by the media as something the PL are considering, what gets discussed in the inner sanctum of the Premier League is anyone’s guess…

  13. I am not as concerned if they go defensive, with Coutinho, Firmina and Sturridge it should be enough to unlock their defense.

  14. That Bobadilla lad is a tad overrated. I’ve seen him a couple of times in the EL now. He relies on being strong. But is a far cry from Troy “look like a bum, play like a bum” Deeny.

  15. So defensively stubborn, a prolific goal scorer and a decent keeper. What could possibly go wrong?

    Villa was a nice leg stretching exercise for our star men but no more than that. Villa were absolutely pants. Ze Germans will be incredibly excited so we need to play with some tempo and impose ourselves so they struggle to settle into the game.
    Surely benteke doesn’t even make the bench with origi fit.

  16. Hope we don’t underestimate them. Could be embarassing for me sitting next to the Augsburg fans in the stadium. Let’s just make sure to get preferably two away goals!

  17. Have we lost a match in the Europa League this season? Nope and I don’t think we are about to start doing that away against Augsburg. I expect a good match, great performance, many goals and no injuries by the time I go to sleep on Thursday night. YNWA!

  18. Klopp will know which team to start against Aug he’ll already know there weakness and strengths better than any EPL team and Peter has already said they (Aug) never change their style it’s always the same so I’m very loudly confident .

  19. From what I’ve seen of Augsburg this season, I consider them an easy opponent, if they are not taken for granted. Their defense is woeful, midfield without creativity. Bombadilla himself can be tricky though, but I think Sakho and Toure should deal with him without major problems. We really should win this one, without much fuss.

  20. Not to get off track, but I bought a hospitality package for the final regular season home game against Watford. Even though Watford is not an A level opponent like Manchester United, the price was the same compared to a C level opponent like Stoke. Is it because it’s the final home game and they have some events they don’t normally have?

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