FC Augsburg have managed to pull off the seemingly impossible, converting a mere 36 per cent possession into a mid-table position. Shots from distance and a certain Florian Niederlechner are the reasons behind this statistical anomaly.

Form

Augsburg currently sit tenth in the table on 26 points, one spot ahead of Eintracht. They got off to a slow start, with their win against the Eagles at home being the only three-pointer they managed in their opening ten games. A victory away to Paderborn in early November then ushered in a purple patch which saw another four wins and a draw, giving them 16 of a possible 18 points. Three defeats in a row then followed, and FCA only got back to winning ways last Saturday against Werder Bremen with their first points of 2020.

Tactics

Under coach Martin Schmidt, Augsburg have been playing in a 4-4-2 in recent weeks, pressing high up the pitch and looking to force their opponents into mistakes. They are happy to let the opposition shape the game, as their 36 per cent possession rating attests. Only the top four in the table have scored more goals than FCA (with 33). Shots from distance have been their saviour, with seven already this season.

One to watch: Florian Niederlechner

Niederlechner joined the club from SC Freiburg last summer and since then has recorded 11 goals and eight assists in 20 matches, making him the fourth most dangerous attacker in the league. After spells with Mainz and Freiburg, Niederlechner is now enjoying the most consistent spell of his career with Augsburg. Eintracht be warned: the 1.89m attacker has three goals in six games against the Eagles, including one in the 2-1 win earlier in the season. The defence will need to keep him under wraps on Friday evening.

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