Munich - Two games into their debut season in Germany's premier league and FC Augsburg remain unbeaten. The two points earned so far is the reward for the stalemate at home to Sport-Club Freiburg on the opening weekend, and away to Kaiserslautern last weekend. Further encouragement will be garnered by the fact they have scored 3 goals already and are putting up a real fight against more fancied sides.
This weekend sees head coach Jos Luhukay's side take on 1899 Hoffenheim who upset the bookmakers last weekend by beating the defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund at home by a goal to nil. That shock result will surely have done wonders for their morale making them favourites to escape from SGL Arena with the lion's share of the points.
Shrewd dealings during the close season meant Augsburg were able to lure 24-year-old Dutch midfielder Lorenzo Davids (cousin of former Dutch international Edgar) from NEC to Bavaria along with former Eintracht Frankfurt striker Sascha Moelders. Moelders has scored all 3 goals for his new side - what a coup he is proving to be!
High expectations will also be on established players like winger Axel Bellinghausen to provide the inspiration to give Augsburg their first win and continue to punch above their weight.
Hoffenheim have a plethora of young and upcoming stars themselves. Club captain and German international Andreas Beck is a mere 24 years old and leads from the right back position. He, along with Isaac Vorsah (23), Sebastian Rudy (21), Brazilian Roberto Firmino (19) and former 1860 forward Peniel Mlapa (20) are all first team regulars. Former Liverpool and Dutch International Ryan Babel is the household name in the side. Like Augsburg, all of Hoffenheim's goals so far this season have come from a single supplier, Bosnian striker Sejad Salihovic.
On paper Hoffenheim look the stronger side and the smart money is on them. My prediction is a 2-0 away win for the village side from Baden-Württemberg.