Ricardo Pepi continues his search for a first Augsburg goal when his side travel to face Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena on Saturday (kick-off: 3.30pm).
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Die Werkself reclaimed third place with a 2-1 Rhine Derby win over Borussia Mönchengladbach last time out, a win that ended their four-game streak without one. Robert Andrich and Patrik Schick – who missed one of Leverkusen’s two penalties – were the men with the decisive goals. Schick has fueled his team all season and his 18 goals are only bettered in Europe’s top five leagues by the best FIFA men’s player of 2021, Robert Lewandowski. If they can continue to provide the Czech international with chances to find the back of the net, Leverkusen should be very well placed at the end of the campaign. Florian Wirtz will ensure Schick is well fed and, like his team-mate, finds only a relentless rival Bayern Munich ahead of him in the race to become the 2021/22 Bundesliga king. Thomas Müller is this man with 16 provisions, seven more than his teenage compatriot.
Pepi is hoping for similar ammunition from his teammates as he goes in search of a first goal for the club. After making his debut on the bench on Matchday 18, the American started last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt and so nearly opened his account but saw his effort on the half hour mark. of game canceled due to a fault in the preparation. . The 19-year-old is expected to retain his starting spot alongside Matchday 19 goalscorer Michael Gregoritsch in attack, but left-back Iago – who provided the assist for Gregoritsch’s goal – is a new doubt and could move on to the side. If he does, Mads Pedersen or Germany international Felix Uduokhai will most likely step in. Meanwhile, reserve keeper Tomas Koubek is close to a return to action and Tobias Strobl remains the only long-term absentee. The 31-year-old is highly unlikely to return this season.
Look: Leverkusen beat Augsburg 4-1 in the second leg
- Schick has scored 10 goals in his last six games and 18 for the season, one every 71 minutes.
- Wirtz is this season’s best teenage provider in Europe’s top five leagues, according to the UEFA coefficient, with nine.
- Leverkusen have never lost to Augsburg in the Bundesliga (P21: W14, D7).
- Pepi has fired three shots, including one on target, in 114 minutes of Bundesliga football.
- Gregoritsch topped Augsburg’s goalscoring charts with four goals in six games.
- Augsburg have won just one of 10 Bundesliga away games this season (D4, L5). Last season they had the second-worst away record in the division (14 out of a possible 51 points).
The probable compositions
Leverkusen: Hradecky (c) – Frimpong, Tah, Hincapie, Bakker – Andrich, Aranguiz – Bellarabi, Wirtz, Diaby – Schick
Outside: Baumgartlinger (knee), Demirbay (suspended), Kossounou (African Cup of Nations), Lunev (ankle), Sinkgraven (groin), Tapsoba (African Cup of Nations)
Doubtful: Lomb (not included), Palacios (back), Paulinho (fitness match)
Coach: Gerard Seoane
Augsburg: Gikiewicz – Gumny, Oxford, Gouweleeuw (c), Pedersen – Vargas, Maier, Dorsch, Zeqiri – Pepi, Gregoritsch
Outside: Strobl (knee)
Doubtful: Iago (hitting), Koubek (not included)
Coach: Markus Weinzierl