"We have to focus on our on-pitch performance"

Ralph Hasenhüttl looks ahead to the game against Besiktas | 20 players have made the trip to Istanbul | Availability of Kevin Kampl and Naby Keita is doubtful

The Roten Bullen are about to hit the road in Europe for the first time! RB Leipzig head to Istanbul to face Beşiktaş on matchday two of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League. The game takes place on Tuesday 26th September (Kick-off: 20.45 CEST).
Head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl and goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi faced the press ahead of the game. They answered questions on a variety of topics, including the Turkish champions and the current personnel situation at the club.


"18 outfielders have come to Turkey as there are still question marks over Naby Keita and Kevin Kampl. We will have to wait and see how they feel after the final training session. Apart from a couple of bruises here and there, everyone who was involved against Frankfurt is fit and available.

The age difference between the sides isn’t going to be decisive tomorrow. At this level every speed makes a difference, however, that in itself isn’t everything – team work is key. We need to defend well, press well and make life tough for their players. We’re a younger side than Besiktas, however, last year we showed that we can play well against experienced teams.

I’ve already seen how highly Bruma is valued here in Istanbul. He was excellent whilst at Galatasaray and has told us a bit about what to expect tomorrow. He’s a very valuable player to us."

Péter Gulácsi:

"We’re fully aware that we’re facing a side full of quality individuals and Champions League experience. We’re a young team, but have reacted well to big challenges before. Our aim is to perform well and claim the points.

It’s certainly nice to train in the stadium the day before the game. We don’t get to do that in the Bundesliga. It’s going to be an electric atmosphere but we have a mentally strong group of players, one that has overcome similar tasks before.

It’s going to be loud. However, the communication between the defence and myself will remain good. We have to focus on our on-pitch performance – what’s going on in the stands can’t have an impact on us."


  • The availability of Kevin Kampl (ankle) and Naby Keita (thigh) remains doubtful.
  • The referee for the game is Sergei Karasev from Moscow. 
UEFA Champions League Matchday 2
Besiktas Istanbul


SEP 26th

RB Leipzig
20:45 (CEST)
Besiktas Park , Istanbul

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