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PREVIEW | Werder Bremen vs Augsburg

Following the international break Werder Bremen will host Augsburg looking to secure their first win of the season after being hit for six without reply at the Allianz Arena on opening matchday. Both teams have had a slow start to the campaign as Augsburg went down 2-0 away to Wolfsburg and will look to rectify mistakes made in that game on Sunday afternoon.

This tie may not seem the most appealing to Bundesliga fans with Dortmund travelling to RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich winning away at Schalke Friday night but the two teams have never shared a goalless draw either in the Bundesliga or the DFB Pokal (13 meetings) with an average of almost three goals per game, which could set up another exciting encounter between the two sides both looking to secure their first three points of the season.

Team News

Dirk Schuster said in his pre match press conference “We have to be more purposeful going forward than we were against Wolfsburg, if we do that then we have a chance.” With ten shots and only the two on target in their previous game, wholesale changes probably will not be on his mind as they did create a handful of opportunities. Expecting a similar 4-3-3 line up Sunday afternoon with Caiuby and Jonathan Schmid keeping their places on the wings and Martin Hinteregger making his debut after signing from RB Salzburg.

Possible line-up – Hitz – Opare, Gouweleeuw, Hinteregger, Stafylidis – Baier, Kohr, Koo – Schmid, Caiuby, Finnbogason

Viktor Skripnik on the other hand may be forced to make a few changes for this match as he is missing Bargfrede, Garcia and Max Kruse through injuries who would most definitely be in and around the first team if they were available. New signing Serge Gnabry from Arsenal is more than likely to make his debut for Die Grün-Weißen and could also see the return of Zlatko Junuzovic who was unavailable for the Bayern Munich match. They will look to pack the midfield with a 4-5-1, Johansson will most likely keep his place as the sole striker.

Possible line-up – Wiedwald – Gebre Selassie, Sane, Caldirola, Sternberg – Bartels, Fritz, Grillitsch, Junuzovic, Gnabry – Johansson

Ones to Watch

The return of Zlatko Junuzovic is ever-so important for Werder Bremen as the main creator of Viktor Skripnik’s side and his return could revitalise their slow start to the season. His experience at the top level and for Bremen will bring the team together who looked lost against Bayern. A top notch set piece taker and no nonsense midfielder, Skripnik will look to him to lead on the pitch by example and create opportunities for Aron Jóhannsson and new recruit Serge Gnabry.

After losing Estonian international Ragnar Klavan in the summer window to Liverpool, Augsburg were left with a big gap to fill as he had a fantastic year. They replaced him with Austria international Martin Hinteregger from RB Salzburg. No stranger to the Bundesliga with a loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach last season. Although he was limited to only 10 appearances he has returned to Germany on a permanent contract with Augsburg to play more regular football at a higher standard. With 18 international appearances he is showing plenty of promise and with his strong and calm style on the ball, he will be a very important player for Augsburg in the coming seasons.

Prediction

Some interesting statistics about both teams show that Werder Bremen might possibly have the upper hand, for example Werder Bremen have not lost on any of the last 7 Sunday matchdays, with 5 wins and 2 draws. Bremen will look to utilize home comforts to secure the victory, they have only lost 1 of the last 10 home matches at the Weserstadion, which helped steer them to safety last campaign.

Augsburg have also (since gaining promotion in 2010) not won any of their first two Bundesliga matches, all this points to a routine home win, but the battering at the Allianz may have dampened spirits and Augsburg will look to capitalize on any individual errors. Augsburg had opportunities at Wolfsburg and they will be sure to take their chances this time around.

It could go either way as both teams have a point to prove and want to kick-start their season, on quality of personnel on the pitch Werder Bremen should nick this one but it’ll be an interesting game to watch.

Prediction: Werder Bremen 2 – 1 FC Augsburg

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