Play hard

Ingolstadt preview

preliminary report
Thursday, 20.04.2017 // 14:30 Uhr

It’ll be a special match for Robert Bauer when Werder play Ingolstadt on Saturday (15:30 CEST). From his two years there, Bauer is all too aware of the challenge which awaits the Green-Whites this weekend. “Ingolstadt have a strong mentality. They have a fighting spirit, everyone gives their all for each other and they have great morale,” said Bauer about his former colleagues. Alexander Nouri is preparing what he hopes will be an effective game plan. “We’re hoping to play our own game and to bring the same team spirit as the last few weeks to the match,” said the head coach whose team are now nine games unbeaten. Saturday’s meeting will determine whether Werder can continue their unbeaten run, or whether the team that sits second bottom in the table can improve their chances of staying up.

Read about which players will be missing on Saturday, which statistic Max Kruse is chasing and how many away matches Werder have now gone without losing below.

Did you know that...

... Werder sit third in the table for the second half of the season? Like Borussia Dortmund and 1899 Hoffenheim, Werder have amassed 23 points from their league games in 2017. Only Bayern (27) have more. Werder have already collected more points this calendar year than they managed in the entirity of the first half of the season. The Green-Whites will be looking to extend their current unbeaten run to ten matches on Saturday.  

Set-piece specialists: Markus Suttner and Zlatko Junuzovic.

... it will probably be a hard-fought game? Ingolstadt have committed the second most fouls in the Bundesliga with 474. Only Hamburg have more with 491. 

... this will be Robert Bauer’s first appearance against his former club? Last weekend, Robert Bauer experienced the Nordderby for the first time and this weekend he’ll face his former club Ingolstadt for the first time. Bauer represented the ‘Schanzer’ for two years from 2014-1016 and won promotion to the Bundesliga with the Bayern based club. “I had two great years at Ingolstadt. I’m excited to see many friends and acquaintances on Saturday,“ said Bauer.

... the set-piece experts from both sides will be missing? Zlatko Junuzovic and Markus Suttner know each other well. The pair played together for Austria Vienna from 2009-2011. Junuzovic has three assists from set-pieces to his name so far this season and Markus Suttner has scored four direct free-kicks already, as well as getting four assists from free-kicks. The two Austria internationals will not feature on Saturday, however, as both are suspended.

Max Kruse scored his first Bundesliga goal for Werder against Ingolstadt.

... Werder and Ingolstadt haven’t met on too many occasions? Werder Bremen met Ingolstadt for the first time last season. Ingolstadt won both games, however, Werder won the previous game this season 2-1.

... in Max Kruse, Werder have one of the top scorers from the second half of the season in their squad?  The 29-year-old has struck seven times in twelve Bundesliga games in 2017. That’s more than twice as many goals as he managed in the whole of 2016. He has contributed to 13 goals this season (9 goals, 4 assists) and only Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich has had a hand in more goals (14) this calendar year. He scored his first Werder goal in the previous meeting between the Green-Whites and Ingolstadt earlier this season.

... a strong away team meets a weak home side on Saturday? Werder have gained 17 points from their away matches so far this season. Only three teams have picked up more points on the road. Dortmund also have 17 points away from home this season. The Green-Whites are currently five away games unbeaten. With 15 points, Ingolstadt have the poorest home record in the division. However, the ‘Schwanzer’ have won their last two matches at the Audi-Sportpark.

… Saturday’s game will be refereed by Markus Schmidt? The Stuttgart born official has been a Bundesliga referee since 2003 and this will be his first Werder game this season. His assistants will be Thorben Siewer and Christof Günsch. The fourth official will be Markus Sinn.