Augsburg spent last season battling relegation from the Bundesliga and it could be a similar story in 2020-21. The Fuggerstädter have made plenty of changes to their squad over the summer and getting their new signings up and running will be key.
On the plus side, the team have started the season on a high. They were embarrassingly beaten in the first round of the DFB-Pokal Cup last season but have avoided another humbling this time around, crushing fifth-tier team Eintracht Celle 7-0.
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Starting with the 2020-21 season, anyone in the US can watch every FC Augsburg game live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ will have live coverage of every Bundesliga match in 20-21, as well as DFL Supercup, Bundesliga 2, Serie A, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, MLS and other live sports. It also includes every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch every Augsburg match live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
FC Augsburg 2020-21 Preview
Augsburg will be keen to push on from a disappointing campaign last time out in what will be their 10th consecutive season in the German top flight.
A busy summer has also seen a new captain installed at the Augsburg Arena. Coach Heiko Herrlich has named Dutch defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw as his skipper and explained why he’s opted for the 29-year-old.
“He has been here for four years, and his performances and personality have always been top-drawer. He gets on really well with the team and is the perfect captain, I think.”
Striker Florian Niederlechner top scored for the team last season, netting 13 times and producing eight assists in the Bundesliga, and will be hoping for a similar return in 2020-21.
Meanwhile, Augsburg will be hoping Iceland international Alfred Finnbogason can stay healthy in 2020-21. The 31-year-old only managed three goals last season in a campaign disrupted by injury.
Transfer Ins and Outs
There’s been plenty of ins and outs at the club over the summer. Augsburg have added Schalke’s Daniel Caligiuri, Union Berlin goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz, and Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Tobias Strobl on free transfers.
Gikiewicz had a fine season with Union Berlin last time out. He kept eight clean sheets and made the second-highest number of saves in the Bundesliga with 115. Only Gladbach’s stoper Yann Sommer made more with 126. The new goalkeeper will compete with Czech international Tomas Koubek for minutes in goal
Caligiuri has also been quick to make an impact following his move from Schalke. The midfielder netted on his debut in the DFB-Pokal win and told reporters afterwards he feels he’s settled in well as his new home.
“We needed some time to get going, but we found our footing after it was 1-0. We’ve advanced to the next round and have fulfilled our duty. It was a really good test before the league gets back underway, which is what we’re fully focused on now. I think you saw today how at ease I feel within the team and that I’ve received a warm welcome here.”
Augsburg also used their option to buy 22-year-old center-back Felix Uduokhai following an impressive spell on loan from Wolfsburg. Young right-back Robert Gumny has also joined from Lech Poznan, while veteran midfielder Daniel Baier has signed a new contract with the club until 2021.
The club have also seen several players depart this summer. Fabian Giefer, Andreas Luthe, Philipp Max, Tim Rieder, and Georg Teigl have all moved on, while Stephan Lichtsteiner has retired from football.
Augsburg will be hoping their new arrivals can settle quickly as they have been handed a tough start to the new campaign. Herrlich’s side take on last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund, Champions League semi-finalists RB Leipzig, and Bayer Leverkusen in the opening weeks of the new Bundesliga season.
Manager: Heiko Herrlich
Herrlich only arrived in March, replacing Martin Schmidt in the hotseat, but did manage to keep the club up. It was a close run thing but Augsburg eventually finished 15th, five points clear of the relegation play-off spot.
It’s likely to be a similar brief this season for the 48-year-old. The Augsburg coach does not have vast experience of coaching in the Bundesliga but won the Champions League as a player with Borussia Dortmund and was a full Germany international.
Herrlich has talked in pre-season about his excitement ahead of the new season and seems satisfied with his team’s preparations ahead of 2020-21.
“The anticipation is slowly building. When you have to prepare for so long, you just want to play a proper match again that actually means something.”
“We were able to implement a lot of what we’ve practiced in training in the friendlies. We’ve shown that we can create chances even against strong teams while staying solid in defence, which is something we want to carry over into the season.”
Augsburg’s big DFB-Pokal win ahead of the Bundesliga kick-off should inspire confidence ahead of their opener against Union Berlin. Yet it’s difficult to see it being anything but another tough campaign at the Augsburg Arena.
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