Bicakcic: "Everyone knows the importance of this game"

Julian Nagelsmann and Ermin Bicakcic spoke at the press conference prior to the Champions League home game against Shakhtar Donetsk (Tuesday at 21:00 CET, Live Ticker on about the personnel situation, the opposition and the group situation.

Julian Nagelsmann on…

…the opposition: "Shakhtar have been heavily beaten by Manchester City in two consecutive matches in the Champions League. They performed well against us, but we should've had the game won early on. They're once again the dominant force in their domestic league. But at international level they've got their backs to the wall. I'm expecting them to take an attacking approach."

…the game tomorrow: "We need to replicate the same desire we show going forward in our defensive work too. We'll train well today and try to implement our plan on the pitch tomorrow."

…the personnel situation: "Reiss Nelson has a knock, I'm not sure what the verdict is there. Otherwise it's a full contingent."

Ermin Bicakcic on…

…the clash with Shakhtar: "The Champions League is something special for all of us. Everyone knows the importance of this game. There's huge excitement. I think it'll be a very interesting game. The hope and aim is always to achieve the maximum. We all believe we can achieve the maximum. But first of all we need to take the first step and secure our minimum objective of Europa League football."

…the match in Berlin: "Our general defending in Berlin wasn't so good. The emphasis must be placed on defending better as a team. We have demonstrated over the course of recent weeks what kind of attacking quality we have. In Berlin we tailed off after the first 15 minutes of the second half."

…Shakhtar Donetsk: "Shakhtar have lots of power and speed going forward. We need to be prepared for that. I don't think we did too badly in the first meeting. If we implement the coaching staff's plan, I'm convinced that we can win the match."

The opposition's form:

Shakhtar Donetsk are on course to retain their Ukrainian league title this season. Paulo Fonseca's charges currently sit eight points clear at the top of the table after 16 rounds of matches. In the Champions League, however, they have lost their last two games − both to Manchester City.

Head-to-head record:

The two teams have only ever faced each other once. That first meeting in Kharkiv was TSG Hoffenheim's first-ever match in the group stages of the Champions League. TSG delivered a strong display but the game ended 2-2.


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