Bundesliga preview: Moelders ready for relegation fight
By Football News
Struggling Augsburg will rely on durable striker Sascha Moelders to make the difference when they meet Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.
Unfancied Augsburg are a lowly 16th on the table, and may yet fail in their bid to secure top-flight football for a third successive season.
Markus Weinzierl's team occupy the relegation playoff berth, sitting just two points clear of 17th and the automatic drop.
There remains a hefty margin of nine points between Augsburg and the confirmed safety of 15th, but they can at least take heart from a battling 2-1 win at home to Hoffenheim last week.
Moelders, 27, claimed the second goal in that home win, remaining on the pitch despite receiving a deep cut to his nose earlier in the contest.
Asked if he thought about coming off following the injury, Moelders said: "Not even a second. I bruised my nose, not my feet."
Having helped secure what was just a third win of the campaign for Augsburg, Moelders was already looking ahead to Saturday's away match against Bremen, unconcerned by his facial laceration.
"We'll just glue it together, I'll be all right," he said.
Improbable as an Augsburg escape act seems, they may fancy their chances of upsetting Bremen at the Weserstadion - Thomas Schaaf's team have suffered two defeats in succession to sit 12th on the table, and could be vulnerable on Saturday.
A day later, top side Bayern Munich are expected to continue their march to the title.
Jupp Heynckes' men are 17 points clear at the top, and could extend that lead further still with a victory away to Hoffenheim.
There is an intriguing tie to begin this week's round of matches, with fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt at home to mid-table Borussia Moenchengladbach.
On Saturday, second-placed Borussia Dortmund, the defending champions, host Hannover, who are seventh.
Relegation-threatened Wolfsburg are at home to underperforming Schalke, while bottom side Greuther Fuerth face a daunting trip to Europa League hopefuls Hamburg, sixth in the standings.
Bayern Leverkusen, third on the table and with Champions League football in their sights, await the visit of mid-table Stuttgart.
And in the other match on Sunday, Fortuna Duesseldorf are at home to Mainz.