TSG Hoffenheim v FC Augsburg: Preview
Both Hoffenheim and Augsburg coaches Markus Gisdol and Markus Weinzierl say their teams will be ready for Saturday's Bundesliga opener between the two sides, even if they go into the game with contrasting fortunes.
While Hoffenheim were winning 9-0 in their first-round DFB-Pokal tie last weekend, Augsburg were being eliminated by fourth-division Magdeburg.
``A defeat like that should not be happening to a Bundesliga side like us,'' said Weinzierl, who was voted by his colleagues as the coach of the season last term.
``This game is a warning for us that we need to give 100% in every game like we did last season if we want to get the right result in the end.
``This defeat increases our concentration for the start of the season.''
Hoffenheim will also be fully-focused on building on their cup victory with a winning start to the league season in front of their own fans at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
``We're really, really looking forward to this game,'' Gisdol said at a press conference. ``We've been working six or seven weeks for this moment.
``Nobody can really tell where we are because the Bundesliga is different to any friendly game, no matter how good the opponents are.''
In Augsburg, Gisdol expects very strong opponents indeed, regardless of their cup hiccup.
``They always get underestimated in the public eye,'' he said. ``Last season, they finished eighth and only just missed out on a place in the Europa League.
``They are very hard opponents to face on the opening day. They are going to be motivated to their nerve endings and extremely well prepared after their cup defeat. That will have stimulated them.''
Gisdol should be able to count on his captain Andreas Beck, who has recovered from injury, although Roberto Firmino may miss out.
Having lost Andre Hahn to Borussia Monchengladbach this summer, Weinzierl would have preferred not to have to do without the injured Raul Bobadilla in Saturday.
He is also missing Jan Moravek and Alexander Esswein, but Markus Feulner could start.