Maaßen confirms Gikiewicz is out for the weekend, Cardona may get first start

FC Augsburg trainer Enrico Maaßen, not for the first time this season, confirmed a long list of missing players at his Thursday presser. 

Tomas Koubek will definitely start in place of the ailing Rafal Gikiewicz. Irvin Cardona might get his first starting appearance in the continued absence of Mërgim Berisha. 

Maaßen also noted that first-choice keeper Rafal Gickiewicz had been training individually among long-term outs Niklas Dorsch, Kelvin Yeboah, and Reece Oxford. Gickiewicz’s prospects are non-existent. Maaßen revealed that he was already planning with back-up net-minder Tomas Koubek. The FCA trainer must continue to do without makeshift winger and attacking talisman Ermedin Demirovic, still serving a suspension.

Sion Dreja Beljo and Fredrik Jensen served as the two strikers in Maaßen’s 4-4-2 last week against Köln. Ruben Vargas filled in for Demirovic on the left flank and did end up scoring the squad’s lone goal in the 1-3 home defeat. Maaßen hinted that he may be willing to give French striker Irvin Cardona the start in Jensen’s place.

The January acquisition has made five relief appearances since joining the team in the most recent transfer window. Cardona scored one goal and chipped in an assist in the round 24 defeat away at Bayern. On the comeback trail from injury, Maaßen has used the Frenchman off the bench in the team’s last four consecutive league outings.

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