Schreuder: "We need to be courageous"

Will TSG Hoffenheim beat Bayern Munich for the second time in the league this season? At the press conference prior to the Bundesliga home game against the Bavarian giants (Saturday at 15:30 CET/Live Ticker at, head coach Alfred Schreuder spoke about the personnel situation, the absence of Robert Lewandowski and the match on Saturday.

Alfred Schreuder on…

…how it compares to the reverse fixture: "It's a different game to the reverse fixture. We're playing better than then and Bayern are in better form too. Furthermore, we played each other in the DFB Cup only recently. It's very important that we focus on ourselves. We all know that Bayern have a lot of good players."

…the absence of Robert Lewandowski: "Of course, it's normally an advantage for the opposition if Robert Lewandowski can't play. He's the best striker in the league. But we need to concentrate on ourselves and we'll see who they line up with in attack."

…the personnel situation: „Andrej Kramarić will resume training with us today and I'm assuming he can play. In addition, Ilay Elmkies might be able to return on Friday. But three players  Ishak Belfodil, Sargis Adamyan and Munas Dabbur – will definitely miss out."

…the injuries in attacking positions: "We're lucky that Ihlas Bebou and Andrej Kramarić are fit again. And in Robert Skov and Jacob Bruun Larsen, we have several players who can be dangerous going forward. Maximilian Beier has also performed well after coming on as a substitute. It's obviously a shame that Munas Dabbur and Sargis Adamyan are now out, but we have enough players to pose a threat."

…the match against Bayern: "It'll be an interesting match. We know how strong Bayern are. But we also know how well we've already played against Munich this season. We've scored five goals in two games. We need to have the courage to take our chance. But we also need to be honest in acknowledging that it'll be difficult against a Bayern side on their current form."

…the development of the young players: "Hoffenheim's a very good club for the development of young players. It's very important to have the right surroundings. The lads need to trust us; then they'll get where they want to be."

The social media question of the week:

Is Lucas Ribeiro a candidate for the starting XI after playing and scoring in Mönchengladbach?

"In principle, every player in our squad has a chance of making the starting XI. But it's probably slightly too soon for Lucas. He's developing really well. When he comes on, something happens on the pitch. He has an incredible presence about him, is a winner and doesn't fear anything. Our job is to ensure he stays mentally grounded. Then he'll have a bright future ahead."

The opposition's form:

In midweek, Bayern Munich convincingly beat Chelsea 3-0 away from home in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie. Coach Hansi Flick's charges are also in absolute top form in the Bundesliga: they are unbeaten in nine matches and have taken 25 out of a possible 27 points during that time.

Head-to-head record:

TSG waited 17 Bundesliga matches (five draws and 12 defeats) for a victory against Bayern Munich. But, on 4 April 2017, it finally happened as Andrej Kramarić's goal secured Hoffenheim a 1-0 win over the Bavarians. The head-to-head record has been even in the past six matches, with three wins and three losses apiece.


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