Breitenreiter: "There's huge excitement"

The Bundesliga's finally back: TSG Hoffenheim will kick off the new season away to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday (15:30 CET). At the press conference prior to the opening round, coach André Breitenreiter spoke about the opposition, the cup tie in Rödinghausen and the new signings.

André Breitenreiter on…

…the start of the Bundesliga season: "We worked step by step throughout pre-season. But you can't compare that to the everyday business of the league. The atmosphere will be wonderful; we want to start on a successful note. I'm looking forward to the game, there's huge excitement among everyone involved. The boys are very inquisitive and want to play attractive football. We want to show that on Saturday."

…Borussia Mönchengladbach: "We'll need a top performance to win in Mönchengladbach. They did not fulfil expectations last season but they have a great deal of individual quality. We'll need to defend very well; their quick attacking play has set them apart in recent years. It'll be a great game played in a great atmosphere. We want to make life as difficult as possible for the opponent."

…the status of the team: "It's always difficult to assess where we stand prior to the first game. Several players and even coaches are new to the club. We set about creating an optimistic mood from the outset and are on the right track. However, it would be too early to say that we're at the end of the tunnel. That said, we want to produce a convincing performance in Gladbach and be successful."

…the match in Rödinghausen: "We got through to the next round, that was the aim. There were things we can still improve. In the first half in particular, we gave away too many easy chances and did not defend compactly enough. We placed an emphasis on that in training this week. Furthermore, we saw that we need to attack more quickly. That way, we'll also create more goalscoring chances. But it'll be a completely different game on Saturday."

…the new players arriving in the last few days: "We're very happy to have brought in three additional players and are convinced that we have done some good transfer business. We have some absentees through injury and needed to compensate for that. We also have great trust in the lads who were already here. We will see after the final training session which of the players will actually make the squad at the weekend. Ozan Kabak's prospects of being in the starting XI look good. Stanley Nsoki and Eduardo Quaresma have only had one session with the team; we have to wait in their case."

…Benjamin Hübner: "I feel incredibly sorry for him. His old injuries were no longer noticeable. Benni fought his way back into the team superbly. He's absolutely a leading player for us and we will miss him. We cannot yet say how long he will be sidelined for. His foot needs to be rested first. We will give him all the time he needs to get fit again. Oliver Baumann will wear the captain's armband on Saturday."

Personnel matters:

Benjamin Hübner (ankle injury), Angelo Stiller (torn ligaments), Ihlas Bebou (knee problems) and Ermin Bičakčić (fitness training) are out. Dennis Geiger is back in team training but will not be ready for Mönchengladbach.

The opposition's form:

Borussia Mönchengladbach did not let up in the DFB-Pokal, winning 9-1 away to Oberliga side SV Oberachern from Baden-Württemberg. But Saturday's game will represent the first acid test for coach Daniel Farke and his team.

Head to head record:

TSG will not have fond memories of the last meeting between the two teams: Hoffenheim lost 5-1 away to Borussia that day. But they now have the opportunity to make amends. In total, it is the Kraichgau club who have the marginally superior head-to-head record, with nine wins compared to eight defeats (plus 11 draws).

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