FC Augsburg cannot be said to have a particularly great urge to go on the offensive. According to the table published weekly by “Kicker”, Augsburg has created five chances in four games. That’s, well, little. After all, 60 percent of them resulted in goals.
Nobody else in the Bundesliga has so few chances, but also such a high level of efficiency, not even close. Augsburg has a problem that coach Enrico Maassen describes as follows: “We have to create more chances to score and be more goal-oriented.”
At the bottom of the chances table is the next opponent of Augsburg: Hertha BSC (Sunday 3.30 p.m., live on Dazn), with a rate of 11.1 percent, 2 of 18 opportunities were used. Even without percentages and quotients, it is clear that Hertha also has an offensive problem. Still. Last season there were only 37 goals after 34 games, with Augsburg there were only two more. In addition, there were two for the Berliners in the relegation against Hamburger SV.
This time the team had a promising start: four goals in the DFB Cup at Eintracht Braunschweig. Unfortunately, the opponent also scored four times – and then in a penalty shoot-out once more than the guests. Since then, apart from the city duel at 1. FC Union, the defensive has stabilized properly.
There isn’t much that can be done at the front. A goal at Union by Dodi Lukebakio to make it 1-3, one by Suat Serdar to lead against Eintracht Frankfurt (final score 1-1) in the third minute. Since then, Hertha has been waiting for a goal, but neither at Borussia Mönchengladbach nor against Borussia Dortmund.
Overall, it looks better than last season. Also due to the fact that more is coming from the outside positions now occupied by Chidera Ejuke and Dodi Lukebakio. But Hertha still doesn’t create many chances and these are often shots from distance. In addition, the ball is often lost due to sloppy passes.
There is also bad luck, for example when Marco Richter hit the crossbar against Dortmund or when Stevan Jovetic involuntarily blocked Serdar’s promising attempt in the penalty area against Frankfurt.
Improving offensive performance was therefore an important part of training this week. “The lads were very precise in the shots, even under pressure from the opponent,” said Sandro Schwarz on Friday and had another praise ready: “All the offensive players work very hard.” However, the coach also said: “Now we need to implement it on the day of the game. “
Sporting director Fredi Bobic believes that the team has enough players up front. On the home stretch of the transfer period, no more adjustments were made. Instead, Krzysztof Piatek, who no longer played a role in the plans, went to the US Salernitana in Italy and talented Luca Wollschläger to the third division Rot-Weiss Essen, both on loan. The young strikers Jessic Ngankam (22) and Derry Scherhant (19) are in recovery training after injuries. Davie Selke was not in the cup, where he scored a goal, only for short appearances.
Stevan Jovetic would certainly be able to help in a permanently fit condition. But the 32-year-old is often struck. He scored his last goal in mid-February and played his last 90-minute game in early March. So far this season, when he has come in, he has usually brought animation to Hertha’s game. But Jovetic can also be used at best as a joker for the upcoming game at FC Augsburg.
Wilfried Kanga, who Hertha brought from BSC Young Boys in Bern for around four million euros at the end of July, holds the regular position in the storm. Kanga had scored twelve league goals there last season and three in two games this year before his move. In Bern he was always there as a substitute, needed some time to get used to it – and then scored often.
In Berlin it could have worked right away in the starting eleven, but against Frankfurt the 24-year-old shot over it from a short distance.
Kanga is still without a goal, but at least stands out with a highly committed style of play. “It’s important how he works for the team. This is also a criterion for us. If you’re that diligent, the individual reward will come,” says Schwarz. The coach believes that this also applies in general: “I have a lot of confidence in my attacking department that we will score goals. Regardless of who it will be in the end.”