Augsburg vs Hoffenheim Preview

Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl believes his side's experience of a relegation battle last season could stand them in good stead to face Hoffenheim.

The two goal hero.

The two sides, separated by just two points at the foot of the Bundesliga, meet in an important relegation battle at the Augsburg Arena with the stakes particularly high.

Hoffenheim are currently in 16th place, which would earn a play-off to avoid relegation in May, while Augsburg would be relegated automatically were the season to end now.

Augsburg were in a similarly precarious position a year ago, only to escape unscathed - and that could be decisive on Saturday, according to Weinzierl.

"It's an incredibly important game for both teams, and we want to win it," said Weinzierl.

"The fact is, nobody at Hoffenheim expected them to be so deep in relegation danger.

"They have invested a lot of money in recent years and now they are scared, and logically we want to use that to our advantage.

"We, on the other hand, have always been prepared for such a situation.

"Many experts had written us off after the first half of the season, which is why we aren't panicking at all."

Weinzierl says his side's hopes of surviving would not be ended by a defeat, though.

"The winner just has a better chance of staying up than the loser, but the season is still long and a lot can still happen," he added.

"I'm confident we will win. We know our way around a relegation battle and know what it's all about, as we have shown in recent weeks."

Hoffenheim coach Marko Kurz also has experience in relegation battles with former club Kaiserslautern and that is one of the reasons he was appointed over the winter.

Kurz has made it clear to his players exactly what is required on Saturday, and in the remaining 11 games of the season.

"Everybody here wants to play in the Bundesliga and the lads need to show that," he said.

"It's down to them now. They have to show it in every tackle, man against man."

Kurz has no injury worries and can therefore pick his strongest team while Augsburg goalkeeper Alexander Manninger is a doubt for the hosts.

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