Onto matchday 4!
After having impressively ended Union Berlin's home winning run before the international break, RBL now host FC Augsburg. The Bavarians have two points from their first three games, coming from a frantic 4-4 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach on the opening matchday and then a 2-2 against VfL Bochum. Enrico Maaßen's team have also suffered two defeats, on the second matchday against Bayern (3-1) and in the DFB-Pokal at Unterhaching (2-0).
What changed at Augsburg in the summer? Who's new to the team? And how do they set up tactically?
We'll get you up to speed with our opponent analysis.
- FCA have scored seven times in their first three games, having found the net in every Bundesliga match so far. The total of two points and nine goals conceded does leave room for improvement though: only promoted Darmstadt (10) have let in more than FCA.
On the first matchday, FCA took part in an eight-goal thriller against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Bavarians came back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to lead 4-3, before the Foals equalised from the penalty spot in the seventh minute of injury time to finish the match at 4-4.
One week later, Enrico Maaßen's side travelled to the home of the record champions in Munich. FCA fought bravely against the title holders, but Harry Kane netted his first Bundesliga double for Bayern. Dion Drena Beljo at least found a consolation goal for 3-1.
Against VfL Bochum, Augsburg threw away the lead twice: Beljo's opener was cancelled out by Bochum's Takuma Asano in the first half, with the Japanese also striking in the second period. Augsburg's new captain Ermedin Demirovic made it 2-1 in between.
FCA's form in numbers
- … boast the best attack in the bottom half with seven goals in the first three matches. Only the top five in the Bundesliga have currently scored more than Augsburg.
- ... are good in the air. FCA have won 64 aerial duels so far this season and place fifth in the Bundesliga for these.
- … have improved their passing markedly. A passing accuracy of 72.8 percent last season (the lowest in the division) has risen to 81.7 percent this term (11th in the division).
- Both of FCA's newest signings have come from the English Premier League with the aim of strengthening the side defensively: ex-Wolfsburg full-back Kevin Mbabu has joined on loan from Fulham, while centre-back Japhet Tanganga has also signed on a temporary basis from Tottenham Hotspur.
- Patric Pfeiffer, who has been a defensive pillar at Darmstadt 98 for the last few years, moved to Augsburg in the summer. The 1.96-metre giant was suspended for the opening three games of the season due to a red card picked up last term, but is available from now on to strengthen the back-line. His aerial ability makes him very dangerous from set pieces.
- Phillip Tietz has also arrived from Darmstadt. The big striker (1.91 metres tall) was involved in 41 goals in 68 competitive games for the 'Lilies' (27 goals and 14 assists). The forward came on as a substitute against Gladbach and Bayern and started the last game against Bochum, performing well as a target man. The attacker also picked up an assist in the 4-4 against Borussia.
- Sven Michel brings a wealth of experience. The striker moved to FCA from Union Berlin in the summer. The 33-year-old forward is quick, skilful and technically gifted. Michel's style of play should complement the physicality of Tietz and Dion Beljo. On the first matchday, he was involved in two goals against Gladbach (a goal and an assist).
- Finn Dahmen is Augsburg's young new number one. After the experienced Pole Rafal Gikiewicz had stood between the FCA posts for three years, the club have chosen to try out a younger player. U21 Euros winner Dahmen joined from 1. FSV Mainz 05, where he made 13 Bundesliga appearances.
- In Tim Breithaupt, Augsburg also have a gifted talent in midfield. The 21-year-old came to FCA from Karlsruher SC. He has featured in all four competitive games this season, as a substitute in the Bundesliga and from the start in the Pokal.
- Multiple players left Augsburg in the summer, among them top striker Mergim Berisha (to Hoffenheim) and veteran wingers Daniel Caligiuri and André Hahn. Additionally, experienced duo Tobias Strobl and Julian Baumgartlinger both retired. Rafal Gikiewicz has also left Augsburg and is now under contract at Ankaragücü in Turkey.
- Goalkeeper Finn Dahmen has saved twelve shots in the Bundesliga so far, which puts him seventh in the Bundesliga. The keeper is often included in the build-up, is calm on the ball under pressure and typifies FCA's new playing style.
- Felix Uduokhai is a vital presence in defence. The 26-year-old centre-back has good quality in the build-up, is an automatic pick as a defensive left-footer and can play accurate long balls deep and in behind the opponent's backline. At a height of 1.92 metres, he is also possesses strong aerial ability.
- Niklas Dorsch is the pacesetter in Augsburg's midfield. The defensive strategist sets FCA's rhythm and tempo, spraying passes in all directions. The 2021 U21 Euros winner is strong in individual battles and also has good shooting ability. He provides the foil to his midfield partner Elvis Rexhbecaj, allowing him to better unleash his dynamic box-to-box play.
- Ermedin Demirovic is FCA's new captain. He is a hardworking runner in the frontline. The 25-year-old Bosnia international has recorded a goal and three assists so far this season. The striker also came through the ranks of RB Leipzig, having featured for RBL's U17s and U19s between 2015 and 2017.
- Defender Reece Oxford will continue to be absent for FCA in the next few months. He recently visited a specialist in London due to long COVID.
- New signing Masaya Okugawa, who previously featured for Bielefeld in the Bundesliga, has suffered a knee injury, though he's already back in recovery training.
- Home-grown talent Raphael Framberger will be missing long term, as the right-back has suffered an ACL tear.
- FCA have had to do without former captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw so far this season due to an ankle ligament injury. The international break has allowed the Dutchman time to recover. It's unclear whether he is yet able to train fully.
Find all the latest RBL team news here.
- Under Enrico Maaßen, FCA secured survival on the final day of last season. Now in their 13th successive year in the Bundesliga, Augsburg want to improve their ability on the ball under Maaßen, who led both SV Rödinghausen (2020) and Borussia Dortmund II (2021) to the Regionalliga West title, by being on the attack more and having more possession. Despite this, the well-known Augsburg hallmarks of aggression, set-piece ability and quick counter-attacks will not be left behind.
The 39-year-old coach has set his team up with a back four this season, mostly in a 4-4-2 or 4-2-2-2 formation with two defensive midfielders. Up front, Maaßen plays with a physical forward who can hold up or flick on long balls on the counter-attack to quick, lively supporting players or to the runners on the wing.
Although a more possession-based approach is being increasingly targeted, FCA remain very dangerous on the counter due to their lightning-quick changeovers.
RBL head-to-head record vs. FC Augsburg
- 8 wins, 5 draws and 3 defeats - 26 goals scored, 16 conceded
- 6 home wins, 2 away wins
- Top goalscorers: Timo Werner and Christopher Nkunku (4 each)
- Biggest win: 4-0 on 8th May 2022 (Goals: André Silva, Chistopher Nkunku (2), Emil Forsberg)
The last five meetings
- 15th April 2023 | Bundesliga, matchday 28: RB Leipzig – FC Augsburg | 3-2
- 22nd October 2022 | Bundesliga, matchday 11: FC Augsburg – RB Leipzig | 3-3
- 8th May 2022 | Bundesliga, matchday 33: RB Leipzig – FC Augsburg | 4-0
- 15th December 2021 | Bundesliga, matchday 16: FC Augsburg - RB Leipzig | 1-1
- 12th February 2021 | Bundesliga, matchday 21: RB Leipzig – FC Augsburg | 2-1