Matarazzo: "We can take a big step towards survival"

The last home game of the season: on Saturday (15:30 CET, live updates on, TSG Hoffenheim will play host to 1. FC Union Berlin to the PreZero Arena. TSG urgently need points in the fight for Bundesliga survival, while the side from Berlin are looking to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Ahead of the match, head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo spoke about the opposition, Hoffenheim's chance in the fight against relegation and the morale in the team.

Pellegrino Matarazzo on…

… possibly securing Bundesliga survival on Saturday: "There is a great desire to get over the line. We have the opportunity to do just that on Saturday. It is not just up to us, but we can take a very big step towards that. We want to celebrate staying in the Bundesliga at the weekend. We have to recognise that there is no time left for talk. We have to stand up and take advantage of our opportunity. All the players have to bring positive energy out on to the pitch."

… the opposition: "Every team struggles to play attractive football against Union. They are a very unique opponent, so we will need a robust performance. Union have achieved a great deal in recent years. They are defensively compact and are very good on the counter. Union are strong in set piece situations. It is no coincidence that they are so high up in the table – they have continued to evolve greatly."

… the mood in the squad after the match in Wolfsburg: "It took us a few days to get over the defeat in Wolfsburg. The lads were very unhappy because we put in a lot of effort. You could feel that, but now the focus has to be on Saturday."

… a possible final-day showdown in Stuttgart: "My focus is on the next match against Union Berlin. It doesn't help if you're afraid of something. We want to take a positive approach – that will work better. For me, the results in the other games are not important. We will play to win, no matter what the situation with the other teams is. We are not interested in the other fixtures. I'm concentrating on the 90 minutes my team will play on Saturday, and don't want to lose focus."

… reasons to be confident: "The togetherness in the team is spot on. The team have desire and give it their all on the pitch. The lads know what is at stake. We are a unit – that is a big advantage."

The personnel situation:

Kevin Vogt and Pavel Kadeřábek are injured and Stanley Nsoki is suspended. Robert Skov, Dennis Geiger and Ozan Kabak are still doubtful. Angelo Stiller is fit again, having recovered from an illness.

The opposition's form:

Union Berlin are enjoying the best season in the club's history. This weekend, coach Urs Fischer's team have the chance to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time. A victory would virtually guarantee Berlin a place in Europe's premier competition next season, as their goal difference is significantly better than that of SC Freiburg.

Head-to-head record:

TSG won the first two competitive matches (2-0 and 4-0), but since then, they have gone five without a win (three defeats and two draws).


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