JULIAN NAGELSMANN ON...
... the opponent:
The frightening thing about Bayern at the moment is that Carlo Ancelotti predicted this at the start of the season: that they would have a few problems in the first half of the season, but would turn up the heat in March and April. They played well against Augsburg and scored some good goals. They won’t want to end their run on Tuesday and all of their players are world-class so it doesn’t matter if they rotate. Rotation at Bayern has a different meaning to rotation at other Bundesliga clubs.
... the squad:
We have a full squad for the game. I watched Lukas Rupp and Pavel Kaderabek play for the U23s on Saturday. They’ve taken well to playing in that side and both of them played well. Neither of them are 100%, but they’re not far off. We’ll wait and see who’s fit enough to face Bayern, then we’ll name the squad.
... the sporting situation I:
We have developed since the game in Munich in the first half of the season, more than anything, in defence, but there is still room for improvement. We’ll see if we can reach our peak this season or whether we’ll have to wait until next season. When we played Bayern, we were very good for 60 minutes and the possession stats were even, but then for the remainder of the game we only played at 35% and we were lucky in the end as we deserved to lose the game. If you give the ball away against Bayern then all you can do is hope for the best. We’ll adopt a similar approach as in the first match Munich prefer having the ball and when they don’t have it, they can’t score.
... the sporting situation II:
My team is hungry to learn and we have an unusual training quality. We’ve only played two bad games all season. You can be the best in the world at training, however, that doesn’t guarantee victory, but good training improves your chances of winning. We’ve been bringing our performances in training to the matches. We still have to do better when switching from defence to attack. We’re good at winning the ball back, but we often miss the final, killer pass. We have to improve our decision making. That’ll be the next big step forward.
... the sporting Situation III:
We need to have a very good day on Tuesday - everyone in the team. Irrelevant of whether they’re in the starting eleven, on the bench or in the stands. Everyone needs to be up for it and then it’ll be hard for Bayern.
There have been 17 previous games between TSG and Bayern Munich, but Hoffenheim have never beaten the record German title winners. TSG have drawn five and lost twelve of their 17 games against Bayern. Hoffenheim showed great courage to come away from Munich with a draw in the meeting between the sides earlier this season. The match finished 1-1 and Julian Nagelsmann were the better team in the first-half, although Bayern had chances to win it late on.
Bayern have only spent three days of this season away from first-place in the Bundesliga table. They are also set to play Real Madrid in the quarterfinal of the Champions League and Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final of the DFB cup. Carlo Ancelotti’s team is unbeaten in 14 matches in 2017, winning twelve of those.
THE KEY BATTLE:
TSG like to keep the ball and play good football. Julian Nagelsmann’s men have played over 13,000 passes so far this season, with 80% of those reaching a teammate. In these particular statistics, Hoffenheim are amongst the best in the Bundesliga, but trail Bayern Munich in both. Bayern are dominant across the board, therefore, Hoffenheim will have to be at their best if they are to get a positive result.
JULIAN NAGELSMANN ON...