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Professionals, 29. November 2018

“The only thing that counts for me is VfB”

VfB Stuttgart’s clash against FC Augsburg is an “incredibly important home game and a special encounter”, according to head coach Markus Weinzierl.

“If I were to say that I didn’t have a special relationship and connection with FC Augsburg, I’d be lying,” Weinzierl said ahead of the meeting with the club who handed the 43-year-old his first Bundesliga coaching role, which lasted from 2012 to 2016. “But the only thing that counts for me is VfB and the fact that I’m desperate to pick up points from Saturday’s home game.”

Fighting with passion

Weinzierl is convinced his team will “stick together, defend as a unit and fight with passion” against Augsburg after tightening up at the back in recent games. In order to do so, however, the head coach says his players need the required momentum and full support of the VfB fans.

Good news and bad news

Weinzierl also delivered mixed news on the injury front ahead of the game at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Anastasios Donis is “fit and will be included in the squad”, while Timo Baumgartl is also available after recovering from a stomach virus. However, Weinzierl is sweating on the fitness of both Pablo Maffeo and Nicolás Gonzales. “Pablo picked up another problem with his ankle after the game in Leverkusen,” said the coach. “Nico also suffered a knock to the calf and has been unable to train recently.”

Holger Badstuber has started running again following a calf injury, but the centre-back has yet to return to full training and won’t be able to play on Saturday.