We spoke to head coach Ralf Rangnick to find out his thoughts and updates on his squad ahead of the Europa League second-round qualifier against Swedish first-division side BK Häcken.
- “We have been watching BK Häcken closely and know what to expect from them. Their league campaign has already started which gives them an advantage, but we are well prepared and know exactly what we have to do to stop them.
The biggest challenges for us in pre-season are firstly, to put in a good performance against Häcken and secondly, to make good learning progress. We are aware that there is a lot at stake here so we need to perform to the best of our ability.
Our goal is to progress far in the Europa League this season, but in order to do that we need to make it through the three qualification rounds first. We want to be involved in all three competitions (Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Europa League) for as long as possible.
Häcken have a lot of technically strong attacking footballers who combine well up top. We have to make sure that we are not giving them too much space to play their football. We also have to ensure that we make problems for our opponents and create our own chances. During these difficult hot summer conditions, we must be determined and efficient.”
- Diego Demme has returned to training after suffering from muscle problems and is expected to be part of the squad to face Häcken.
- Dayot Upamecano misses today’s game with a bruised lower thigh.
- Konrad Laimer also will not feature after suffering a small sprain in his left adductor.
- Marcel Halstenberg (torn ligament), Marcel Sabitzer (shoulder injury) and Atinc Nukan (torn ligament) are still completing individual training programmes and will not feature on Thursday.
- Macedonian referee Aleksandar Stavrev will officiate Thursday’s game.