Liverpool have been drawn against FC Augsburg in the last 32 of the Europa League – but who are they?
Fußball-Club Augsburg 1907 e. V. were formed, as their names suggests, in 1907 as Fußball-Klub Alemania Augsburg which was subsequently changed to BC Augsburg from 1921 to 1969. The club is the largest in Swabia – one of the seven regions of Bavaria.
The club has only been in the Bundesliga since 2011 after their first ever promotion to the top-flight of German football. It marked a miraculous rise after they had been relegated to the fourth tier before returning to the third in 2002.
Augsburg returned to professional football in 2006 and soon left their home ground of the Rosenau Stadion – which was built from World War II rubble, in 2009. They moved to the Impuls Arena, which is now known as the WWK Arena. It has a capacity of 30,660.
The team is managed by forty-year old Markus Weinzierl, who spent much of his playing career in Bayern Munich’s reserve side of the nineties. He managed SSV Jahn Regensburg before taking over at Augsburg in 2012.
One of Weinzierl’s biggest achievements at Augsburg was ending Bayern Munich’s fifty-three match unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga towards the end of the 2013/14 season with a 1-0 victory over the then European champions.
Augburg’s most well-known current player to Reds will most likely be the former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger. The Austrian international is now thirty-eight years old. He joined Augsburg from Juventus in 2012.
Former Schalke attacker Halil Altıntop has been with Augsburg since 2013 and at thirty-three years of age, he brings plenty of experience to his team.
Forward Raúl Bobadilla will also be remembered by many Liverpool fans after he scored for Swiss side Young Boys against the Reds in the Europa League back in 2012/13 at Anfield.
Augsburg finished a very credible fifth in the Bundesliga table, their best ever placing, last season to earn their place in the Europa League. They finished second in their group behind Athletic Bilbao and ahead of AZ Alkmaar and Partizan Belgrade.
They are currently thirteenth in the eighteen team Bundesliga after sixteen games and have sixteen points.
Liverpool will travel to Germany on 18th February for the first leg and Augsburg will come to Anfield a week later on 25th February.