Augsburg v Union Berlin – Augsburg Arena at 14:30 GMT +1
Augsburg made a stunning start to their Bundesliga campaign when summer recruit Florian Niederlechner put the Fuggerstädter ahead against Dortmund inside the first minute. But joy was short-lived for Martin Schmidt’s men who quickly surrendered their advantage and suffered a deserved 5-1 thrashing.
Survival remains the priority for Augsburg in their ninth successive season of top-flight football. The Bavarians sailed dangerously close to the wind in 2018/19, despite standout results including holding Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena and beating Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on home soil.
Schmidt managed to get the club over the survival line after overseeing two wins and one draw from their final six games of the campaign. However, the Fuggerstädter finished just four points clear of the relegation play-off spot in the end with defensive issues blighting any potential on-field progress.
No team last season had a weaker defence than Augsburg as they conceded 71 goals (2.10 per game), though the club have attempted to improve that return with the arrival of Czech international pair, goalkeeper Tomas Koubek and centre-back Marek Suchy, whilst retaining their threat and final-third ability.
With Alfred Finnbogason, Marco Richter, Michael Gregoritsch and Niederlechner to call on, goals are unlikely to be in short supply for Schmidt’s men. Finnbogason and Gregoritsch contributed to 27% of Augsburg’s 51 league goals last season and if the two players can stay fit, Augsburg have hope of pushing on.
Union suffer rude awakening
Union Berlin made their Bundesliga bow with a total of 395 games of top-flight experience spread across their starting XI, 377 of them belonging to Christian Gentner. The newcomers fought valiantly but their resistance was broken early on against RB Leipzig who eventually ran out cushy 4-0 winners in the capital.
The Berlin boys won promotion under Urs Fisher, who built his side around a solid defence, boasting the 2. Bundesliga’s strongest backline that conceded nine strikes fewer than the next best side. But the opening encounter suggested Union could fall short as they step up in class against top-level opponents.
The visitors were far less stodgy when taking to the road during their promotion-winning campaign and it’s interesting to note that 71% of Union’s games as guests last term saw both sides score. With that in mind, plus the evidence of last week at-hand, I’m happy to support a goals-based angle here.
Schmidt isn’t renowned for high-scoring encounters, although Augsburg have been a model of consistency when supporting goals at their WWK Arena home. A huge 71% of outings here since the start of 2017/18 have paid out for Over 2.5 Goals and with neither team impressing at the back, a repeat appeals at 1.96.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommedations: Over 2.50 Goals at 1.960
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.