Augsburg boss eyes Liverpool shootout - 'Germans always win on penalties'
Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl hopes to "achieve the unthinkable" and eliminate Liverpool from the Europa League clash on Thursday.
Weinzierl said Augsburg, who held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the first leg, would progress so long as they do not lose at Anfield, joking that "the Germans always win on penalties."
Augsburg are taking part in European competition for the first time in their history and, given that they are currently just four points clear of the relegation playoff spot in the Bundesliga, five-time European champions Liverpool had been strong favourites to progress.
With Jurgen Klopp's men failing to score an away goal in Bavaria, though, Augsburg would progress with a win or score draw on Thursday, while another goalless draw would see the tie go to a penalty shootout.
"A draw would be enough for us, and the Germans always win on penalties," Weinzierl told reporters at his prematch news conference. "We are looking forward to the game and we want to achieve the unthinkable."
Weinzierl warned that Liverpool will be out to seek an early goal, though, and said: "I think Liverpool will do a lot more than they did in the first leg. We know our strengths, however. If we score, Liverpool have to score two."
Despite a long list of injured players that includes midfielder Markus Feulner and forward Ji Dong-Won, Augsburg remain hopeful that midfielder Daniel Baier and attacker Raul Bobadilla will return for the second leg.
Bobadilla sustained a muscle tear in the reverse fixture last week but took part in the final training session on Wednesday, while Baier, one of the club's key players, was on board the flight to Liverpool but did not train.
"Our squad is slightly depleted," Weinzierl said, while stressing that he would not take any risks with their players given their ongoing relegation battle and "will wait until our last training session" to decide.
He added: "We have come here to win and to get into the next round. I don't need to motivate any of my players. Everyone is excited about the game and we will do everything possible to succeed."
Asked about playing at Anfield, Weinzierl said: "It's like Christmas come early."