Nagelsmann: “We need clear heads”

Wolfsburg will come to Sinsheim on the back of progressing to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. With their European success behind them and great players such as Julian Draxler and André Schurrle, the game will be a difficult assignment for Julian Nagelsmann and his team. looks ahead to this weekend’s match.

Julian Nagelsmann on…

…the opposition.

Wolfsburg are a strong side with a lot of good individual players. They play really well as a team and are one of the best eight clubs in the Champions League, which says a lot about them. It will be a very difficult match and we will definitely have to play differently to how we did against Stuttgart last week. Wolfsburg had a good game against Gent and will have gained confidence.

….the squad.

Other than Sebastian Rudy and Eugen Polanski who are suspended, we don’t have any other players who definitely won’t be able to play. Although throughout the week we have had some small injuries and a few players have been ill so the squad has been stretched. We will have to wait and see how each player pulls up. We will only know on Saturday if some of the players will be fit for the match.

…the current situation.

To get over a game such as the one against Stuttgart isn’t easy. There is no definite method. To lose in the manner we did, by conceding five goals, it really hurt. It was even sickening the day after. We analysed our mistakes clearly on Sunday and moved past some of the emotion from both sides. It can only work that way. We worked towards solutions because we can’t afford to keep making these mistakes in future when we are in possession.

…The current situation II.

We had a good training week, in which we dispelled a lot of the uncertainty in the team. That was important for Saturday as we need clear heads.

Previous encounters:

TSG have won four out of their last 15 Bundesliga games against Wolfsburg and lost eight, with the teams having played out three draws in the others. Hoffenheim have had a difficult run against the Wolves recently, winning only one out of the last seven encounters. The result that will stick in the players‘ memory though is the 6-2 victory in the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena in March 2014, before which Hoffenheim hadn’t ever scored six goals in a Bundesliga match.

Opposition's form:

Consistently inconsistent. The Wolves have picked up eleven points from their eight games since the winter break so far. However, they are currently on a three-game winning streak, with two Bundesliga wins and one in the Champions League – meaning they have managed to reach the quarterfinals of Europe’s premier club competition. A lot of their recent success has been down to André Schurrle, who scored a hat-trick against Hannover and the winner in the second-leg of Wolfsburg’s clash with Gent.

Key battle:

Set pieces. Wolfsburg have already scored ten goals from dead-ball situations this season – the best in the league. TSG will have to be very careful and concentrate hard at set-pieces to keep them at bay. It will also be important to see how the teams start the match. Hoffenheim have scored in the first 15 minutes of the game seven times already this season. Wolfsburg have done the same six times, meaning that these two teams are the most dangerous teams in the league in the opening stages of matches. Both teams wouldn’t mind taking an early 1-0 lead on Saturday.

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