Matchday two is almost here! Die Roten Bullen face Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the BayArena on Saturday (kick-off at 15:30 CEST).
At his pre-match press conference, head coach Julian Nagelsmann spoke about his nomination for “UEFA Coach of the Year”, RBL’s upcoming opponents, and the arrival of new signing Alexander Sørloth.
Julian Nagelsmann on...
…being nominated for UEFA’s “Coach of the Year” award:
- “I read about my nomination in passing yesterday. I’m not expecting to win it, and rightly so. I’m just proud to be amongst the three nominees – it’s a great honour. If I were allowed to vote, I’d choose Hansi Flick, who won every trophy available to him. He should take this one home, too.”
…upcoming opponents Bayer 04 Leverkusen:
- “Leverkusen didn’t deliver any fireworks against Wolfsburg on matchday one, but that's only normal. After losing Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland, the team needs to find its rhythm again – we are in the same situation. They were two really special players for Leverkusen, but the club can call on one or two of my former players to step up and perform. They have just signed Patrik Schick, who is another very talented player. He will prove that in Leverkusen. Last season, Bayer 04 were one of the hardest working teams in the league, and they are also really comfortable in possession. They have a clear tactical set-up, with good counter-pressing and bags of pace in wide areas. They are a team with plenty of quality. I’m sure that they will be fighting for a place in the Champions League again this season. We want to be switched on from the start so that we can get ahead. It’s the first big match of the season for us, a real six-pointer in which a victory means more than just three points. We would be satisfied with the three points, but we’d be even happier with a good showing in such an important game."
...new signing Alexander Sørloth:
- “We needed an extra striker, a physical presence who can disturb the opposition when they sit deep. Alex brings all that, but he is also a quick guy who can finish well with both feet. He can play up top on his own or in a pair with either Yussuf Poulsen or Hee-chan Hwang.”
+++ TEAM NEWS +++
- Marcel Sabitzer is not in contention to be selected for the match in Leverkusen. He has torn a muscle in his right thigh and will play no part for the time being.
- Despite barely training this week, Alexander Sørloth will most likely make the squad on Saturday, although his role remains uncertain. Our new signing completed his first session on Thursday. He is fully-fit and rarely suffers injuries.
- Konrad Laimer is now working through rehab following his keyhole surgery. He is on the road to recovery.
- Ibrahima Konaté took part in team training, but isn’t yet available for competitive action.
- Lukas Klostermann (muscle issue) and Dayot Upamecano (knee injury) trained individually on Thursday. The priority is to manage the players’ workloads.