Jurgen Klopp has told his players to be wary of complacency when the two sides go head-to-head in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday night.
He says the tie represents the “biggest game in [Augsburg’s] history” and that we need to ignore the current Bundesliga standings.
“It won’t be too easy,” Klopp said. “Bundesliga clubs are never easy to play against and especially a club like Augsburg, who are a special story in Germany.” (via Echo)
The club were languishing in the fourth tier of the German league system as recently as 2002, and almost went out of business due to financial issues.
The reached the Bundesliga in 2011 and remarkably finished fifth last season. This term they are fighting against relegation, with only 21 points from 21 games.
“You could say the Europa League is not the best competition for them at this moment when they are fighting in the Bundesliga but they are really confident and want to go to the next round,” added Klopp.
“For a club like Augsburg the competition is the biggest money they can get in Europe because the Champions League is far away.
“These clubs want to go for the Europa League and no-one would ever ask them a question like ‘don’t you think it’s better to go out of European football and concentrate on the league’.
“Maybe in this case when you have 21 points and are in a difficult situation you could say ‘yes’ but from outside you will not see this at the game. They will fight for their lives, for sure, because for them it is an absolute highlight.”