The Bulls face FC Augsburg in the Red Bull Arena in the final game of the year. A win will guarentee the team are top of the Bundesliga table over the winter break.
Head coach Julian Naglesmann spoke to the press about his team's position in the table, the upcoming game and his squad's fitness.
"The players are at different levels of fitness. Some of them have played a lot recently and others are still full of energy. We want to have a good mix of fresh players and players who are already in a good rhythm. At this point in the season, players are bound to be tired.
Augsburg are on a good run at the moment and, along with us, they're in the best form in the league. They've created a lot of chances in their recent games and defended as a compact unit without many gaps. That makes it difficult to find space. Philipp Max and Florian Niederlechner have also been particularly dangerous of late. Augsburg have also looked good on the counter in their last two games. Therefore, we want to put them under pressure so they can't break like that. We're definitely capable of winning at home.
Ultimately, being top at Christmas doesn't mean much. However, you can see from our position that we have recovered well from our blip earlier in the season. Physcologically, being first or second in the table can give you a psychological edge. Being the chasers can really motivate you to catch up but being top gives you confidence and ensures that everything is in your own hands.
If we want to stay top we need to continue to improve and take steps to make sure we can beat teams like Bayern and BVB. Otherwise, it will be hard to hold them off for the rest of the seaon."
+++ TEAM NEWS +++
- Willi Orban, Ibrahima Konaté and Kevin Kampl remain sidelined by long-term injuries.