In what will be the first meeting between these two sides, Liverpool have drawn Bundesliga side FC Augsburg in the first knockout round of the Europa League after avoiding a number of sides who parachuted in from the Champions League.
With the Reds swerving the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Valencia, boss Jurgen Klopp faces a return to Germany on February 18th at the WWK Arena. Going through as group winners, Liverpool will play the second leg at Anfield a week later as they look to navigate their way to the Round of 16. Though the Merseysiders will be favoured to make it through, that hasn’t dampened the excitement of facing one of the giants of the game over at Augsburg.
“It’s definately an absolute highlight for our fans and everyone at FC Augsburg,” said general manager Stefan Reuter following the draw. “During the draw my phone was vibrating constantly, as so many people were asking for tickets already,” he continued. “They want to be there. This is an absolute highlight for us.”
Augsburg have struggled domestically this year; sitting 13th in the table after playing 16-matches, they’ve averaged only one point per match, scoring 20 and conceding 26 with the Bundesliga winter break looming just around the corner. Liverpool, on the other hand, have recovered somewhat after a slow start to the season, though they’re still sitting mid-table after yesterday’s draw with West Bromwich Albion saw them miss out on a good opportunity to make up some of the ground they conceded earlier in the campaign.