Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl has admitted that he would have rather faced Liverpool before the club’s injury crisis began to ease.
The Europa League meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s side is Augsburg’s first competitive fixture against English opponents, and Weinzierl believes the return to fitness of players like Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho has left his players facing an uphill task.
Liverpool have welcomed Jon Flanagan back into their squad for the two-legged knockout stage tie, and Weinzierl said: “I would have preferred to play against Liverpool six weeks ago.
“They are getting better each week and injured players are coming back. With these players Liverpool is a much better team with high quality.
“We are expecting a very good opponent, who has the ambition to win this competition. So the roles are clear.”
Weinzierl insisted his Augsburg are determined to make their mark in the competition, following claims from Liverpool’s German midfielder Emre Can that he had to show his team-mates where the Bavarian city is located on a map.
“Our goal is to play well and fight for a good position before the second leg,” said Weinzierl.
“After that Liverpool will now where Augsburg is and how Augsburg plays.”