Nagelsmann on RB Leipzig: “Attacking and assertive”

The Bundesliga is back. TSG Hoffenheim will get going again on Sunday against RB Leipzig in the WIRSOL Rhein-Necker-Arena. Head coach spoke to about the upcoming match against the newly promoted team.

Julian Nagelsmann on…

…the opposition.

We are well acquainted with Leipzig’s style of play. We will be able to recognize their basic set-up. But they would have tried new things with their players in training. I’m expecting an offensively-minded opponent with individual players who can play good football. I think it will be an intense match.”

…the squad.

Jin-Su Kim caught a cold during the week and we’re not sure yet if he’ll be able to play. We are also waiting on Eugen Polanski who only resumed training on Wednesday afternoon after suffering a muscular injury to his thigh. We’ll decide if he’s ready for Sunday by Friday afternoon. Olympic silver medallists Niklas Süle and Jeremy Toljan could also feature. I have seen them both in training once and they both said they’re not jetlagged and they feel fit. They both looked good.

…the sporting situation.

In theory we are well prepared. However it’s difficult to tell the condition of the team before the first match of the season. We’ve gone through all the main points in training and the team have looked good so far. After our impressive start in the DFB Cup we ideally want to start the season with a league win. Three points would be the ideal start.

I haven’t decided on a definite starting line-up. We play an 11-a-side game in training before every match. Then I let the players know who is in the squad and I have a good idea of the starting line-up in my head.

We won’t change our tactics as much as we did between February and May. We want to keep on doing what we’ve been doing well in the upcoming match. We can’t revert to old habits when the match isn’t going our way and it becomes physically more difficult. We’ve worked hard physically and mentally towards this. It’s normal for the new players to be a bit more nervous on the first day of the season as they get used to the new stadium. Not everything will go smoothly but we have to make sure that doesn’t throw us off.

Former meetings:

This is the first time the two sides have ever faced each other.

The form of the opposition:

RB Leipzig lost their last match against Dynamo Dresden in the DFB Cup. The 2.Bundesliga team went through on penalties even though Leipzig were 2-0 up at half-time. However, you can’t tell a lot about a team’s form from the only competitive match of the season.

Key battles:

Leipzig are not a typical promoted team. They won’t play defensively in this match. Leipzig will want to get forward and put TSG under pressure. Then it will become a battle of tactics between the two teams. The deciding factors will be whether either team will be able to decipher the other’s tactics and which team is more determined to get the first goal.

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