Nsoki: "Strasbourg will be a good test"

TSG Hoffenheim will face French top-flight outfit Racing Strasbourg on Monday (17:00 CET) as part of their training camp in Kitzbühel. The Alsatians finished last season in 15th place but with former world-class footballer Patrick Vieira in the dugout, they will be aiming to challenge for a higher position in the table in the coming season. Together with TSG defender Stanley Nsoki, takes a look at the opposition.

Racing Strasbourg played in the top flight without interruption up until the turn of the millennium and even became French champions in 1979. The Alsatian outfit won the Coupe de France for the last time in the 2000/01 campaign but were relegated from the top tier for the first time. Turbulent times followed, with the club even dropping as far down as the fifth division at times. But Strasbourg have fought their way back and are now heading into their seventh successive Ligue 1 season. "Racing are a big club. Strasbourg have a reputation for having a good team spirit" said TSG's French player Stanley Nsoki.

An outstanding performance in the 2021/22 season (sixth place) was followed by a disappointing season from the management's perspective last term, as Strasbourg finished in 15th position. "Despite a difficult season, they stood by one another and kept their place in the division," said Nsoki. A new coach who enjoyed a stellar playing career is tasked with getting the club back on track this season. World and European champion Patrick Vieira has been in the Alsatians' hotseat for two weeks. The 47-year-old coached Nsoki at OGC Nice. "I have very good memories of him. He was of course a world-class footballer but he has a great deal of quality as a coach too. In Nice, he gave me a lot of tips and helped me progress. I'm looking forward to seeing him again." The TSG defender is expecting a committed opponent. "They have a lot of very athletic players, they will demand a lot from us," the 24-year-old said.

The TSG defender will also go up against two former team-mates from his time at Club Bruges on Monday. Abakar Sylla moved to Racing Strasbourg this summer and became the club's record signing, while Eduard Sobol joined Strasbourg in January. "It'll be great to play against them now," said Nsoki, before adding: "Overall, it'll be a good test for us."

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