It’s finally back! Die Roten Bullen get underway in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday evening (21:00 CET). We want to lay the groundwork for progression to the quarter-finals with a good result against Liverpool in Budapest.
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann sat alongside goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi at a virtual press conference where he discussed the upcoming Champions League tie and the current state of the squad.
Julian Nagelsmann on...
...Liverpool's key players:
- "Liverpool's team is full of top players, which makes it hard for me to single out any key players. But as captain, Jordan Henderson has a really important role. He is the vocal one and without fans you can really see how he communicates with his team during games. There is barely a quiet moment and that pushes the team. He brings a great mentality to the pitch and he also has surprising amount of quality as a footballer. The same goes for Trent Alexander-Arnold. He plays some extraordinary, challenging balls from deep and always plays the attacking trio in well. He’s also really flexible in how he plays the game.”
...his tactical approach:
- "My plans for the match haven’t changed because of where the game is taking place. For me it makes absolutely no difference whether we are in our own stadium or elsewhere. It has no effect on the implementation of tactical ideas, how I push the players or how we will look to make opportunities.
We basically don’t want to give Liverpool any opportunity to play their game. We know about their quality. Even if their results in the Premier League haven’t lived up to expectations recently, you still always hear them named among the best teams in the league. We know that. I can’t tell my team that they are facing a beaten-up boxer, because that’s not what Liverpool are. They are strong in every area and always put their basic principles into practice well. But thanks to our success in the league, we're in a good rhythm too. If we all pull together, we can keep the game open. I’m sure of that. It’s always easier to evaluate things after a game, though.”
...Liverpool's lack of time to prepare:
- "We haven’t had much time to prepare for this game either. Our workload is the same as Liverpool’s. We’ve not had much time for adequate training sessions, but I’m really pleased with our development and preparations!”
...opposite number Jürgen Klopp:
- "I obviously follow his career a bit, but like everybody else I only get glimpses at life behind the scenes at Liverpool. He’s taken over his clubs at difficult times and stabilised them little by little, making them successful. You always see and hear that he brings great spirit to the team; people who work with him still love to recall their time with him even years later. That will be the case for those at Liverpool too. He can motivate people and put people under his spell. I always try to keep developing as a coach and a part of that is thinking outside the box.”
Péter Gulácsi on...
...playing the home leg in Budapest:
- "I was obviously happy when we learned that Budapest was a possibility as an alternative location. But in the end it is irrelevant and we want to get a good result. It’s our home leg. Liverpool control the game well and are dangerous on the counter and upon winning the ball. They are the complete package! We have to make spaces small, perform as a team and must not allow them to build up the play. That will be the key to the match!”
...his own preparations:
- "There is a fundamental difference between playing at home or away, like how you go about your business. You can see that in our strong home form which gives us extra confidence. So it’s a slight disadvantage not to play in our own stadium. But at the end of the day, the result in Budapest counts like a home match so we have to tackle it as if it were a home match. We want to win every match, home or away. That’s what we want to do tomorrow as well!”
...facing his former club:
- "To play against my old team in Budapest makes it a special game for me. I spent six years there, but I actually didn’t play with any of the current squad apart from Jordan Henderson. It’s a new team with new players. But what really matters for me and the team is to put in a good performance, get a good result and hopefully qualify for the next round in the end."
+++ Squad Update +++
- Emil Forsberg will miss the match against Livverpool due to a knee injury.
- Benny Henrichs will travel to Budapest and take part in training but will not feature in the Champions League match. He should be able to return to the matchday squad against Hertha BSC or Borussia Mönchengladbach.
- Konrad Laimer continues to make good progress with his recovery but has not yet been able to complete a full training session with the team.
- Dominik Szoboszlai is also improving, however his reintegration into full team training is subject to ongoing assessments and checks.