14:30 BST, Sunday 29th October, Weser-Stadion (Bremen, Germany), BT Sport 2
Werder Bremen have struggled to recapture their excellent end of season form from their previous campaign and are still looking for win number one in the current Bundesliga season. They host an Augsburg side who have caused plenty of issues for opponents this season.
Augsburg, who didn’t play in the mid-week Pokal fixtures, are coming into this game off the back of a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Hannover. For Bremen, though, the Pokal gave them an unlikely victory against Hoffenheim which they will look to build upon in Sunday’s early kick-off.
Last Time Out
Werder Bremen 1-0 Hoffenheim (DFB Pokal)
In a chippy encounter at the Weser-Stadion, both sides played with an aggressive edge in their second round DFB Pokal fixture. Bremen were looking for their first win since August and they would take the lead on the half hour mark when Thomas Delaney’s corner was headed home by Ishak Belfodil.
Hoffenheim pressed for an equaliser but, thanks to the frame of the goal, the visitors could not break through meaning Bremen progress into the next round.
Augsburg 1-2 Hannover (Bundesliga)
Augsburg welcomed Hannover to the WWK Arena as they looked to return to winning ways after a draw with Hoffenheim previously. It was the hosts who looked sharp early on and they went ahead on 33 minutes when Michael Gregoritsch’s shot was deflected off Julian Korb’s leg and over keeper Philipp Tschauner.
But with Augsburg sitting back, it allowed Hannover to come at them eventually equalising when Julian Korb’s cross was directed in by Niclas Füllkrug. In stoppage time, Hannover stole the points as Jonathas played in Füllkrug who beat the outstretched Marwin Hitz to condemn Augsburg to a defeat.
Werder Bremen Lineup
Max Kruse made his return from injury in the cup win against Hoffenheim off the bench. He will come off the bench once again as he seeks to improve his fitness. Fin Bartels will be brought back into the starting XI after being ineligible to play in the cup due to suspension. Expect Bremen to return to the 3-5-2 formation.
Martin Hinteregger had ankle surgery this week so he won’t be available until the new year. Kevin Danso will step in at centre back to partner Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. Marcel Heller also comes into the side and he replaces Jonathan Schmid.
Key Battle: Ishak Belfodil (Werder Bremen) vs Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg)
With Max Kruse now available, Ishak Belfodil’s place in the starting line-up is under threat and a poor first half may see Alexander Nouri pull the plug on the 25-year-old. Belfodil has only the one goal in eight appearances this season for Bremen.
Alfred Finnbogason shot out of the gates this season when he scored four goals in his opening three matches. But since then it’s been a struggle for the Icelandic international who has gone goalless in the past nine Bundesliga outings. Since Finnbogason’s hat-trick on Matchday 3, Augsburg have won three and lost three. If the Bavarian club is to get back on track, they need his scoring output.
No time like the present
With Werder Bremen coming off a home win against Hoffenheim, now seems like a suitable time to get their Bundesliga season underway. Werder only have four draws to their name with only Köln sitting below them in the standings. Alexander Nouri is under increasing to produce results and anything but a win could see the end of his coaching tenure in Bremen. Can Bremen get it done against Augsburg?
Happy travels north
Augsburg have a good record in Bremen and they will hope to maintain that on Sunday afternoon. In their seven clashes in Bremen, Augsburg have won three and are currently on a two-game winning streak at the Weser-Stadion with both encounters ending 2-1. Augsburg trailed at the break in both of these matches. Can Augsburg make it three consecutive wins in Bremen?
Prediction: Werder Bremen 1-2 Augsburg
The hosts Werder Bremen have it all to play for on Matchday 10 and they will be desperate to end their terrible Bundesliga form. Augsburg started the season well and should have more points than they do. However, with a tendency to fall apart mentally when they take an early lead, they have failed to live up to their potential. In what should be an interesting encounter, it should be Augsburg who get it done in Bremen.
Can Werder Bremen secure their first win of the season or will Augsburg return to winning ways on Sunday? Let us know in the comments section below.
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