Pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday night's 'Top-Spiel' vs BVB! RB Leipzig welcome Borussia Dortmund to the Red Bull Arena for the first home game of 2021 (kick-off: 18:30 CET).
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke about the tie in a virtual press conference and addressed the current injury news.
Julian Nagelsmann on ...
Borussia Dortmund have an unbelievably talented team, no doubt about it. They boast tremendous quality, especially when they get into the final third, and they are also extremely dangerous from set-pieces.
Erling Haaland is returning from injury. His movement and his goalscoring ability can hurt any team, so it will be up to us to stop the ball getting to him. But he is just one of many highly talented individuals. Dortmund have lots of other players who can cause us problems and on whom we must stay focused.
...his team's objectives against BVB:
We have the confidence to give a much better account of ourselves than in our last home game against BVB. To me it is very important that we keep our defensive game at the same level that it has been of late - this will be a key to success for us. Obviously our chance conversion will play a role as well, because chances won't come ten-a-penny against a top team like Dortmund.
...the current season:
We're in the swing of things. When we win, the busy schedule is easier to cope with than when we lose. We need to invest a lot of our energy into this and keep riding this wave. My team's character is unbelievable, mentally we are unbelievably strong and I don't get the feeling that this will drop off any time soon.
We desperately want to win this game and we will give everything to try and do that. Gaining a nine point lead on a direct rival for the top spots would be a huge step for us.
...his goals for the season and the imminent fixtures:
Fundamentally we always want to fight for the maximum. We're trying to pose a huge challenge for every team in every game and obviously we want to continue fighting for the top spots. Looking at the table, the next few games obviously look very interesting, that's true. But every game in this league is a test - that won't be any different after our games against Dortmund, Wolfsburg and Union Berlin either.
+++ Squad news +++
- Nordi Mukiele trained with the team again for the first time on Wednesday. As long as things don't get any worse for him, he will be an option for the squad on Saturday.
- Kevin Kampl is struggling with knee pain. Whether he can be an option against Dortmund will be decided at short notice.
- Christopher Nkunku was already carrying a minor ankle injury and twisted it at training this week. He had to cut training short due to the pain and he will not be an option against Dortmund.
- Justin Kluivert is making good progress, but is still only training individually. He will return to tram training ahead of the Wolfsburg game.
- Dominik Szoboszlai is completing a recovery programme in Thalgau (Austria) for his adductor problems and will not be available before February.