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"We're expecting a patient game."

Julian Nagelsmann spoke to the press ahead of RBL's home clash with Bayer Leverkusen | Adams, Poulsen and Ampadu all a doubt

Back at home! On Sunday, Leipzig play hosts to Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The "Werkself" are within touching distance of Nagelmann's side in the league table. Just five points separate the two teams. Three points at home could be a big step towards securing Champions League football for next season.

In his press conference, Nagelsmann spoke about the opposition, recent results and gave updates on the squad.

Julian Nagelsmann on ...

... Bayer Leverkusen:

  • "Leverkusen are in good form right now. They've been good in the Rückrunde, and in the Europa League as well. They have the second highest possession stat in the league and their positioning is great. This game will be different to the reverse fixture. It's important that we're wary of their ability to counter, and we need to match their sprints. We're expecting a patient game. in which we'll need to wait for our chances."

... The effects of constant travel:

  • "Leverkusen got to bed late. But I don't think that will be too relevant for our game. Of course we'll be a bit fresher and will try to use this to our advantage. But Leverkusen's players are experienced enough to able to deal with three-game weeks."

... The Bundesliga table:

  • "We've got the positions in the table in mind. So the match against Leverkusen is really important. We want to stay in this great position. Our goal for the season is top four. So it would be good to put some distance between us and the chasing pack."
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JN on Kai Havertz: "Kai Havertz is so elegant on the ball. He's got great control despite his speed. He's also great off the ball. Combined with his technique, it can be difficult to get the ball off him. We need to defend against him, as well as the rest of their attack."

... Recent performances:

  • "We've hardly changed the formation and starting line-up in recent weeks. That's definitely done us good. The game against Bayern gave us a lot of confidence. We've got a few individuals, such as Marcel Sabitzer, Konni Laimer and Lukas Klostermann, who are in great form at the moment."

... The latest third of the season:

  • "As a manager, you need to radiate enthusiasm; players pick up on that. That's how the boys go into games with such a great mindset. However, the title is won at the end of the season. So we need to continue to play good football, stay calm, and also have a bit of fun off the pitch, in order to keep the players' minds clear to get the job done."

... Christopher Nkunku:

  • "He's been really good in recent weeks. He's technically outstanding. He's a really dynamic player and a great finisher. It's not a fluke that he's one of the top midfielders in the Bundesliga right now. He's also a really positive guy, of the pitch as well."
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JN on Konni Laimer's absence: "Of course we can win games without Konni Laimer. But it's obviously important that we find a good replacement. Amadou Haidara could be a more defensive option. There are attacking solutions in Marcel Sabitzer, Dani Olmo or Emil Forsberg.“

+++ Squad Update +++

 

  • Marcel Halstenberg has picked up four yellow cards and is at risk of suspension.
     
  • Konrad Laimer is suspended for accumulation of yellow cards.
     
  • Ibrahima Konaté took part in parts of team training, but is still unavailable.
     
  • Whether Tyler Adams returns to the squad after his muscular issues, is not decided.
     
  • Yussuf Poulsen (hip) and Ethan Amapdu (back) are both doubts.
     
  • Timo Werner didn't complete Thursday's training session. But his is available to play on Sunday.
     
  • Willi Orban and Kevin Kampl are still out.

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