Markus Gisdol: "Extraordinary situation at the start of December"

On Friday evening TSG host Eintracht Frankfurt in the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar Arena. The team in seventh are visiting the team one place below them. It promises to be an exciting duel and on Wednesday afternoon head coach Markus Gisdol and midfielder Pirmin Schwegler faced the media to preview the clash.

Markus Gisdol on…

… the opposition:

Frankfurt are on a great run of form. They play with a fluid style and are a constant attacking threat. But they are without a key player for the game against us: Felix Wiedwald. He's been in great form and has helped the team at key moments of matches. Regardless of who replaces him, Trapp or Hildebrand, they won't have the confidence or the form that he has. Eintracht are a very attacking side but are liable to concede. Alex Meier is an excellent attacker who has been a deadly goalscorer for years. He's experienced and is a good finisher. We need to make sure we stop him as a team.


Adam Szalai is back after his ban and Sven Schipplock is fully fit again after picking up an injury against Dortmund. He trained lightly at the start of the week but is now back in full training. We have everyone available for the game, which is an extraordinary situation to be in at the start of December. The doctors, physios and fitness coaches are doing an excellent job.

…the current situation at TSG:

You can make statistics say whatever you want. In our last two matches we've won one and lost the other. The players are performing well in training. This game has no added significance – it's just another Bundesliga game, like the 14 we've already played.

Pirmin Schwegler on…

…the opposition:

Eintracht have been playing courageously recently and have impressed. They are a team full of quality and in Alex Meier they have a top striker in great form. He may only have 15 or so touches of the ball per game, but he remains dangerous. His partnership with Seferovic is excellent. We certainly won't stop man-marking. I don't believe that Kevin Trapp will be in goal – because he's scared that I'll score one past him (laughs).

…the current situation at TSG:

Since Markus Gisdol arrived at the club, the team has developed a clear identity and philosophy. We are continually developing that. I am delighted that I am currently fully fit and able to help the team. We want to do well in the final games before Christmas in order to ensure we give ourselves a strong starting position for after the break. That begins with the game against Frankfurt. We want to be able to look at the table over Christmas and be happy with our position. That's the aim.

The upcoming game:

TSG and Frankfurt have faced each other ten times in the Bundesliga – Hoffenheim have the better head-to-head record. 1899 have won five times, there have been two draws and Eintracht have only won twice. Both teams have picked up 4-0 away victories in the fixture, but apart from that games have been tight. Neither side has conceded more than two goals in the other eight meetings and the winning margin hasn't been more than one goal in them either. There has only been one goalless encounter between the sides, which came on matchday 32 last season.

The opponents:

Hoffenheim will have to watch out – Eintracht are in a good run of form. They have won their last three league games 3-1, 2-0 and 5-2. The opponents? Mönchengladbach, Dortmund and Bremen. Their goal record is also worth looking at. People who are good at maths will quickly see that it lies at 10-3 in Frankfurt's favour. Thomas Schaaf seems to be improving his team week on week and they are increasingly dangerous in front of goal.

Key battles:

Two players are responsible for the great run that Eintracht are on. Alexander Meier and Haris Seferovic. The pair have scored and assisted 19 goals between them, including eight in the previous three matches. It's therefore no surprise that they've been called the “Okocha and Yeboah of the 21st Century.” It's important that TSG keep a close eye on Frankfurt's two key players.

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