Top-of-the-table clash at the Red Bull Arena! Head coach Julian Nagelsmann and his team take on the record champions FC Bayern Munich on Saturday evening at 18:30 CET. Just four points separate us from the league leaders going into the game!
Julian Nagelsmann spoke at the virtual press conference on Friday, discussing the upcoming game as well as team news.
Julian Nagelsmann on...
…the sense of excitement ahead of the game:
“The sense of excitement is very high!
However, we’ve only been able to start our preparations for the game properly today. We’ve had the most international call-ups of any team in the league and lots of my players have only returned to training today. As a result of that, we’ve not had a great deal of time to cover new things in training this week, but we’re not nervous going into the game. After all, Bayern are in the same boat as us.
…the injury to Robert Lewandowski:
“Our match plan hasn't changed just because Robert Lewandowski is out. It’s obvious that Bayern are a better team with him. He’s an exceptional striker and one of the best goalscorers on the planet. The fact that Bayern have been stronger in terms of goals scored this season compared to last season is single-handedly down to him.
They are still a world-class team even without him though. It’s extremely difficult to defend against them and to break them down, although they will have two key defenders missing in Jerome Boateng and Alphonso Davies.
…finding added motivation through pressure:
“There’s always pressure in this business, never more so that in games where something is at stake. That’s what’s facing us tomorrow. If Bayern lose, it will be poor result for them but we’ve seen time and time again that Hansi Flick and his team are able to handle pressure very well. It seems to spur them on to perform at their best.
We haven’t lost any of the last three games against them, but we haven’t won them either. A win tomorrow would be massive for us. Even if we did pick up three points, our destiny is far from in our own hands in terms of the league though. We would have to win all of our remaining games and also hope that Bayern would drop points.
...Dani Olmo's brilliant performance in the international break:
“We’re delighted that Dani scored twice for Spain. It has clearly done him a lot of good and he’s returned to Leipzig beaming and full of confidence. I’m hoping that he stays in top conditions and that he’ll be fresh for the game tomorrow.
In terms of the future, I see him as a leading player for us going forwards. He is already a key player and has great technique, very good finishing and an incredible will to win. In the last few games for us, he’s been a bit quieter but he still gave his all. I would say that he still needs to push forwards and get into dangerous goal-scoring situations more often, but I’m confident that he has what it takes to score on Saturday night.”
+++ Team News +++
- Marcel Halstenberg will not be in the matchday squad for the match against FC Bayern. The health authorities of the city of Leipzig have decided that shortening his mandatory 14-day quarantine will not be possible.
- Dayot Upamecano has fully returned to team training. The defender has a good chance of being available for Saturday.
- Konrad Laimer completed parts of the team training again today and is continuing to work hard on his comeback.
- Angelino has not yet returned to team training and so will not be involved. It’s hoped that he will be back in time for the trip to Bremen to take on SV Werder.
- Kevin Kampl will miss the game through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Arminia Bielefeld.