Augsburg-Bayern Munich Preview: Schweinsteiger eyes another win on path to full fitness

The Germany captain made his first start of the season on Wednesday as he continues his return to full fitness after a long lay-off with a knee injury

Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is hoping to make another step in his recovery from a knee injury at Augsburg on Saturday.

The new Germany captain made his first start in a competitive clash since the victorious World Cup final on Wednesday as the Bavarians cruised past CSKA Moscow 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The midfielder is working towards full fitness and acknowledges that he is still a bit off the pace, but is nonetheless confident regular starts will soon see him back to his best.

“It was great [to return] in front of the home fans,” Schweinsteiger said after the Champions League success.

“When the team are playing well that obviously makes things easier for me.

“It wasn’t easy being out injured, so I’m just happy to be back in the fold.

“I can tell I’m still lacking a few per cent but that will come with match practice.

“We’ll always play good football at the highest level because we have so much quality in our team, and I’m sure we’ll improve on the few mistakes we’re making currently too.”

Bayern can ill-afford errors against an Augsburg side that have defied the critics to surge to third in the table.

And Markus Weinzierl’s men famously ended Bayern’s 53-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga earlier this year, winning 1-0 thanks to Sascha Molders’ first-half strike in April.

Pep Guardiola has led Bayern to an outstanding start to the season in response, though, with 11 wins from 14 matches helping them build a seven-point lead at the top.

They have scored 33 goals – five more than any other side in the Bundesliga – and conceded a mere three, making it a tough ask for Augsburg, who, in their fourth season in Germany’s top tier, are in the highest position of their 107-year history.

However, the hosts will be buoyed by a four-match winning run, and they have triumphed in five of their six home games this season.

Augsburg – who are yet to register a draw in 14 games this term – have defender Paul Verhaegh as their leading scorer with five.

Without a prolific striker, midfielder Tobias Werner has chipped in with four goals and Augsburg’s relatively even spread of contributors makes them tricky to stop.

Guardiola has no new injury worries, with the likes of Lahm (ankle), David Alaba, Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez (all knee) all sidelined.

And despite Bayern’s loss to Augsburg last term, they do have a good record against their Bavarian neighbours – having won the other seven clashes between the two sides.

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