For much of the current season FC Augsburg have occupied the twilight zone just above the bottom four/ five and kept their name out of any relegation discussions. However, with six games left this season the Fuggerstädter find themselves in danger of slipping into contention for a bottom three finish with teams like Hoffenheim and Bochum picking up results while Enrico Maaßen’s side begin to struggle for form. Should Augsburg fans be worried?
The argument that Augsburg are playing decent football, but just not getting the rub of the green with results does ring true, but will not stop them from dropping down the table. Last week saw them take an early lead away at RB Leipzig and play well, but then succumbed to a 3-2 defeat.
That loss was their fifth game in a row without a win and in the Rückrunde they’ve only picked up eleven points so far, which is only three more than bottom side Hertha. They face VfB Stuttgart on Friday to open the Bundesliga matchday 29 weekend facing a real crossroads. Lose to the Swabians and they look like being sucked into the relegation fight, win and they will be confident of avoiding the stress and strain that goes with mixing it in the bottom five.
Injuries and suspensions have played a part in the recent decline in fortunes with strikers Ermedin Demirovic (suspension) and Mergim Berisha (injury) both missing key games. First-choice keeper Rafal Gikiewicz is now out injured, while captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw will sit out Friday’s visit of Stuttgart after picking up a tenth yellow card last week at Leipzig.
“We showed a really good game in Leipzig” Enrico Maaßen explained ahead of the Stuttgart match. “We’re just a little bit short of scoring again. We scored a lot of points in the last Friday evening games, so we have to keep going like this!”
Augsburg face Eintracht Frankfurt away next week and could do without the urgent need to pick up a win there. They then face Union Berlin (h), VfL Bochum (a), Borussia Dortmund (h) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (a) in their remaining fixtures.
Until they are mathematically safe, every point matters staring with VfB Stuttgart on Friday. Not quite squeaky bum time, but we’re getting closer.