Pre match report
Crucial clash in Augsburg
HSV are prepared for what promises to be a really tough battle for points in Augsburg. Rothosen boss Markus Gisdol is counting on team unity and Tom Mikel, who is between the Hamburg posts replacing injured colleague Mathenia.
Things were very different as the teams met in Augsburg towards the end of last season. Both teams had avoided relegation so the game resembled a friendly. There was pretty much only pride to play for (as well as the financial benefit of finishing higher in the table). Not so this time around. On Sunday (30.04.17, 3.30 PM) the teams go head to head with three crucial points at stake. Both sides are near the wrong end of the table and are by no means safe. So the matchday 31 clash at the WWK-Arena promises to be an explosive affair.
The sums are pretty simple ahead of kick off. A win would see the visitors put four crucial points between themselves and the relegation play off spot in the Bundesliga table. Should Augsburg win however they will leapfrog HSV in the table. Gisdol told the media at the pre-match press conference in Hamburg on Thursday: “Everyone is desperate to turn things back in our favour on Sunday. We will produce a focused performance.” His Augsburg counterpart Baum agrees. He said this week: “It will be a real battle and we want to play nasty.”
Who will replace Kostic?
Augsburg’s coach Baum is still without long term injured trio Caiuby, Ja Cheol Koo and Jan Moravek. On the good news side key men Alfred Finnbogason and Dominik Kohr return to the team from suspension. Baum also hopes that stocky striker Raul Bobadilla will feature on Sunday but he is carrying a slight knock. The coach: “We will have to see how his calf holds up. If it does he is certainly an option.”
HSV are also missing three key men through injury - Rene Adler (broken rib), Nicolai Müller (torn tendon) and Albin Ekdal (muscular problem), while Filip Kostic is suspended after picking up a fifth booking during the 1-2 home defeat to basement team Darmstadt. To add insult to injury second choice keeper Mathenia is also injured which gives under-21 stopper Tom Mikel a rare chance to shine. Gisdol is not worried about playing him in goal. He said: “Tom has always performed well in training and for the under-21s. He has our 100% support.” Mikel made his Rothosen debut in Augsburg almost a year ago to the day. It is not known who will replace Kostic but Gisdol is not short of alternatives. Gisdol knows only a tight team performance will do: “That is the only way to take points away from home”, he said.
HSV (from): Hirzel, Mickel, Diekmeier, Douglas, Gregoritsch, Holtby, Hunt, Janjicic, Jatta, Jung, Lasogga, Mavraj, Papadopoulos, Ostrzolek, Sakai, Waldschmidt, Walace, Wood
FC Augsburg: Hitz - Verhaegh, Gouweleeuw, Hinteregger, Stafylidis - Kohr, D. Baier - Schmid, Halil Altintop, Ji – Finnbogason
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin)