Julian Nagelsmann on...
... the opposition:
Eintracht are a good team with a lot of individual quality. They definitely expected more from themselves this season. What kind of football Niko Kovac will have his side play on Saturday I’ll have to wait and see. We have watched and analysed the last few Frankfurt games and devised a plan. We have to have to be prepared with various solutions to various situations. Frankfurt have enough strength in depth, even to replace Alex Meier. Seferovic and Castaignos are very good players and we have to defend against them.
... the personnel:
Pirmin Schwegler will be out against Frankfurt as well. He’ll only make his way back into team training next week. He is still an important player for us - he has experience, is always there to talk to his teammates and give them encouragement.
... the current situation (1):
The fact that we’ve pulled away from the relegation zone is having no influence on the way we approach our games. We want to put in a good performance and win in Frankfurt - that's what it’s all about. The players are looking forward to the game and the tension. That’s why they became professionals after all. There’s always pressure on you in the Bundesliga. This could be a great game.
... the current situation (2):
I wasn’t happy with the game against Köln. We showed good character, but aside from that a lot of things didn’t go as I’d hoped. We’ve addressed the problems this week and looked to build on the positives. You have to let the team off for one weak performance given the difficult situation we’re in.
The Bundesliga head-to-head record with Eintracht is positive for TSG - from the 13 encounters, Hoffenheim have recorded six victories, four draws and only three defeats. Even the record in the Commerzbank-Arena bodes well for TSG, who have left Frankfurt with all three points on three occasions, shared the spoils once and have only been beaten there twice.
The opposition’s form:
It’s just not been happening for Eintracht since the winter break - 16th place in the second half of the season table. The poor and ever deteriorating form has seen them drop into 17th place. In the absence of club legend Alex Meier, the attacking threat has suffered particularly. Eintracht have scored merely a couple of goals in their last seven Bundesliga games and have only managed to win twice since Christmas - once in the first game of the Rückrunde against Wolfsburg, and once against bottom-of-the-table Hannover.
The key battle:
Niko Kovac is bringing running back to Frankfurt. In all three of his games in charge, his team covered more ground that the opposition - prior to his appointment, this had only been the case three times. In these games, his players covered an average of 115.72 kilometres per game. Julian Nagelsmann’s TSG, though, covered more: 117.77 km. Even more impressive: in the four wins under Nagelsmann, they reached 122.01.