Time for the next hurdle! Die Roten Bullen face 1. FSV Mainz 05 away on Sunday on matchday 32 of the 2017/18 Bundesliga season. Around 700 Leipzig fans will be travelling to support their side in Mainz.
Head coach Ralph Hasenhüttel spoke to the press ahead of Sunday about the upcoming match and the current squad situation.
Ralph Hasenhüttl on…
…THIS WEEK IN TRAINING:
“We have been working hard this week to improve on our recent performances. We have gone back to basics and have been working a lot on winning tackles – we have been losing out too often in recent matches. Training has gone smoothly.
We have been working on the basics to give players a little confidence back, however a good week in training does not necessarily lead to a good performance. We have, however, come up with a solid game plan to get a good result on Sunday.”
...SUNDAY'S GAME IN MAINZ:
“I’m expecting an intense match like we played last season. Mainz are trying to get themselves out of the relegation battle, so they are going to be up for it. We have to defend well against set pieces and make sure we keep our shape. We need to create chances from counter-attacks and make sure we convert them”
…MIDFIELDERS BEING UNAVAILABLE:
“Emil Forsberg will miss the game through suspension and we do not know if Naby Keïta will be ready to feature. Marcel Sabitzer is still unavailable and Bruma is still recovering from knee problems. We do, however, have good alternatives in Kevin Kampl, Ademola Lookman and Dominik Kaiser. We will be putting out a strong starting XI.”
…THE END OF THE SEASON RUN-IN:
“We want to keep the fire blazing and show that we are capable of coming out of this intense and difficult phase. To do that, we need to play the style of football that distinguishes us from other teams in the Bundesliga.
“We need to pick up the maximum number of points in our last three games in order to qualify for Europe. The team has come a long way this year and it will be important for us to finish the season on a high.”
…HIS 100TH BUNDESLIGA MATCH AS A HEAD COACH:
“It sounds pretty good to say that I have taken charge of 100 Bundesliga matches. My first game as a head coach was against Mainz when I was in charge of Ingolstadt back in 2015. I am proud to have got this far already.”
- Naby Keïta is struggling with problems in his left high. His availability is yet to be confirmed.
- Emil Forsberg received a three-match ban for receiving a red card against Hoffenheim and will therefore not be able to make any more appearances this season.
- Konrad Laimer is training individually after sustaining an injury in his left thigh. He will not be ready to make an appearance on Sunday.
- Diego Demme and Willi Orban are currently both on four yellow cards, one away from suspension.
- Ralph Hasenhüttl will make his 100th appearance as a Bundesliga head coach on Sunday (65 for RB Leipzig, 34 for FC Ingolstadt).