"We need to hold our own and pose a goal threat"

Matchday 2 of the Bundesliga season sees Hoffenheim face SC Freiburg in the Baden derby for the 19th time. TSG will be hoping to pick up their first three points of the season at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Saturday (15:30 CET). At the pre-match press conference, coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke about the opposition, the personnel situation and Nico Schulz's international call-up.


…the opposition: "Freiburg have often been victims of the transfer market in recent years, but this time they've strengthened. They've signed some players who make them better. Last season we let them get the better of us twice, we were leading twice but didn't win. Freiburg have a clear plan that is flexible and can be changed during their games."

…the personnel: "Andrej Kramaric isn't yet a contender for the starting line-up. He's been making a good impression since he returned to team training, but we need to assess whether a brief appearance from him would make any sense. As for Benjamin Hübner, we unfortunately don't know what it's down to. We've had the most state-of-the-art tests conducted and the result is that he's suffering from a concussion. He's recently not been allowed to watch television or read. Football is an absolute no-no, but he's been doing a bit better for three days. We're all hoping it continues onwards and upwards."

…his expectations for the team: "We need to hold our own against a hard-running opponent and pose more of a goal threat than we did in the games last season. Our team covers a lot of ground too, they showed that in Munich. We obviously don't want to head into the international break on the back of a negative result."

…on Nico Schulz's call-up for the upcoming internationals: "I'm delighted for him, Nico's really deserved it too. And he was extremely happy himself. I hope that he can replicate his excellent performances for us for Germany. His biggest weapon is his physicality, his strength, his power and his speed, which he uses to bolt up and down the touchline. He's worked on his goal threat and will definitely get some goals this season too."


TSG Hoffenheim have only beaten SC Freiburg in four of their previous 18 encounters in the Bundesliga, with three of those triumphs coming at the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena. The overall record is fairly even, with nine matches having ended in stalemate and five games culminating in victory for Freiburg. Last term, the clash in Sinsheim (24 February 2018) ended in a 1-1 draw, while TSG lost the away game (1 October 2017) by a 3-2 scoreline.


Freiburg kicked off their 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign with a 2-0 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt, but they did beat third-division outfit Energie Cottbus 5-3 in a penalty shootout the week beforehand to reach the Second Round of the DFB Cup. The score had been locked at 2-2 after 120 minutes.

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