Leverkusen match preview: “We’ve gained a lot of confidence“
Julian Nagelsmann on…
Leverkusen are a very good team with some excellent individuals. They have unbelievable talent upfront and are also very strong in defence. But we have ideas of how we can cause trouble for Leverkusen. We have to play well and we have to make sure we use these ideas.
A few players caught colds this week which is completely normal at this time of year. It was warm and dry at the beginning of the week but now it is cold and wet. That can be surprising for the immune system. Both Marco Terrazzino and Jin-Su Kim have been affected. Marco will return to training on Thursday but we don’t know when Jin-Su will be back. We will have to keep an eye on how they’re both doing.
…the sporting situation.
The atmosphere in the team is great after three wins, both in the dressing room and on the pitch. Everything is easier after you win. I can see how the confidence has increased amongst the players and they are more receptive in training. You can do everything better in a bad mood. We are packing more things into training to push the players to their full ability. Of course we want to score even more goals to decide games. But as long as we win, we’re happy. We have a big squad. All players want to play more matches. But it’s not always easy to give them all minutes. I have to keep rotating the squad. There are only 11 players on the pitch at one time. Therefore I will try and keep talking to players who don’t feature. That’s the hardest part of my job.
TSG’s record against Leverkusen could be better. There have been 16 previous meetings between TSG and Leverkusen, but Hoffenheim have only won on one occasion, a 3-2 win on 23rd March 2014. Anthony Modeste scored the winning goal for Hoffenheim in the 89th minute. Since then, TSG have lost against Leverkusen three times and drawn once.
The form of the opposition:
Difficult to say. Leverkusen won two matches in a row on Matchday 5 and 6 of this season but lost last week to Werder Bremen. They have won three of seven league games so far, losing three and drawing one. Bayer Leverkusen have drawn all three of their matches so far in the Champions League.
Leverkusen have scored eleven goals so far this season. Bayer 04’s main strength is their attack. Mehmedi, Volland, Kießling, Chicharito and Brandt all pose a dangerous threat upfront. Therefore, it will be important for TSG to make sure they defend well. Everyone will have to work and be ready to give it their all in order to beat Leverkusen.