Sabitzer: ''We have to be wide awake''

Marcel Sabitzer is coming to the end of his fifth season as an RB Leipzig player. During his time in Saxony, the Austria international has developed into one of the club's stand-out performers and has improved even further since the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann last summer. As Leipzig prepare for their match away to TSG Hoffenheim (Friday, 20:30 CET/liveticker at, the midfielder spoke to about his side's objectives for the season, his individual performances and TSG.

Marcel, you sat out last weekend's action due to injury. Are you feeling better now? Do you think you'll be ready for Friday? 

''I felt a slight twinge in my calf and we felt it best to avoid taking any risks for the game against Paderborn. I hope that I'll be fit again in time for Friday.''

With four matchdays to go, you're sitting in third place with 59 points. How confident are you of securing a place in the Champions League. 

''I don't get bogged down in thinking about negative scenarios. So yes, I'm certain we'll qualify for the Champions League. We're going to give it our all in the remaining games to make sure we achieve our goal.''

It's been a particularly good season for you on an individual level - you've notched up 25 scorer points across all competitions and worn the captain's armband on several occasions. What do you make of your performance? 

''It's up to others to judge my performance. All I can is that I always do everything I can out there to help my team. If I'm able to get a few goals and assists to help us achieve our objectives, then of course that's something I'm proud of. But at the end of the day it's not about my individual statistics; it's about the team ones.'' 

You face a trip to Hoffenheim on Friday. Previous encounters between the two sides have often been high-scoring affairs. What are you expecting this time round? 

''It's hard to say. TSG are a strong side and will ask an awful lot of us. We need to get back to making less silly mistakes. If we do that, then we have a good shot at bringing all three points home with us. It doesn't have to be a goal fest - I would be more than happy with a 1-0 final score.'' (laughs) 

TSG are on a four-game unbeaten run. What will you have to look out for on Friday? 

''I think TSG have a lot of variety to their attacking play and that makes them hard to predict. We have to be wide awake. If we're able to keep a clean sheet then I'm sure that our quality up top will be enough to get the goal we need to win the game.'' 

It will be the first time Julian Nagelsmann has returned to Hoffenheim after his nine-year spell at the club. Do you think he'll be particularly motivated for this one? 

''Knowing Julian like I do, I don't think his history with TSG will have any influence on his motivation. He's always fully fired up for every game - it doesn't matter who we're going up against. That's the example he sets to us players.'' 

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