Babbel: “Campino wouldn't begrudge me a win!”

After their 50th Bundesliga victory (a 3-2 win against FC Schalke 04), TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are looking forward to Saturday's encounter against Fortuna Düsseldorf at 15.30 CET. Their game on the eleventh Bundesliga matchday is in the ESPRIT Arena and is a first as the two sides have never faced each other in a competitive fixture. TSG manager Markus Babbel expects a tough game: “It will be a difficult match, one where we will have to compete physically. If we can do that, then we'll be able to play our football too.”

What the team can expect in Düsseldorf is something he knows all too well. “I played with Hertha there once. They give everything for 90 minutes and we must give the same effort. We saw against Schalke what is possible when everyone gives 100%. That will also be important against Düsseldorf!” Babbel's friendship with the front man of Düsseldorf band “Die Toten Hosen” is something he sees as an advantage. “Fortuna is in Campino's blood but if we win, I don't think he'd begrudge me the victory”, said a smiling manager at the press conference.

Injury list grows

There will be selection changes. The centre of defence is looking thin with Chris (muscle tear) and Jannik Vestergaard (torn ligament) definitely out. The inclusion of Matthieu Delpierre (muscle twinge) is also questionable. As a result, U23 player Pelle Jensen looks set to be called up. “He has played superbly in the third division and, for his age, he has a great deal of calmness on the ball”, said Babbel, who is regularly in contact with the U23 coach Frank Kramer.

After a good start to the season, Fortuna have hit a poor run of form, losing their last four games. They currently sit in 15th spot with ten points. TSG 18990 Hoffenheim have one more point and, as a result, sit in 13th spot.

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