Matarazzo: “Our full focus is on ourselves”


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Pellegrino Matarazzo on…

…RB Leipzig: “One should distinguish between the stability of the performances and the results, because in Leipzig’s case there’s a discrepancy there. They also played a very good game in Leverkusen but didn’t get their reward. RB changed their formation several matches ago; we’ll see what system they line up in against us. They have very many strong players and many elements of their play work well. We want to circumvent their counter-pressing and offer them little space in possession.”

…the setback against Cologne: “You could sense the extreme disappointment after the game. We worked through everything superbly after the match, but we needed a few days to get it completely out of our heads. Now we have our full energy on the pitch again and are looking forward.”

…the reasons for the defeat: “We couldn’t deliver the performance that we’d envisaged against Cologne. We completely lost our way after conceding the goal. The basics were missing. I’m a coach who really goes into depth with his analysis. My focus is completely on the performance that we’ll deliver against Leipzig.”

…a demanding last few weeks: “It is sometimes important to recognise which stimuli the team need. They sometimes just need space to get rid of negative emotions. There were a lot of one-on-ones this week, but that’s part of our training work.”

…the team’s attitude: “I’ve been with the team for 11 weeks now. We’ve continuously taken steps forward; the game against Cologne was our first step backward. Now it’s a case of taking two steps forward again.”

…the remaining fixtures: “There are no easy opponents in the Bundesliga; they are all competitive. It’s down to us to produce our performance in Leipzig. My focus is not on the opponent. Of course, we analyse them and see their strengths, but we focus on our performance.”

…Grischa Prömel: “Grischa has been delighted to get back on the training pitch and has increased his confidence from session to session. But we noticed that he still lacks complete conviction. That’s why it was important for him to get some match practice with the U23s. I’m looking forward to him and if everything goes normally, he’ll be in the squad.”

The personnel situation:

Jacob Bruun Larsen has completed parts of team training again this week but is not yet in contention for a squad berth on Saturday. Grischa Prömel got some minutes with the U23s under his belt on Sunday and gained even more confidence in his own body in the process. Kevin Vogt’s knee problems have resurfaced; he will miss out in Leipzig. Angelo Stiller had to sit out training on Wednesday and is doubtful for Saturday. After fracturing his nose in the game against 1. FC Cologne, Kevin Akpoguma is training with a mask and is therefore an option for the game.

Head-to-head record:

TSG have won only three of their 14 Bundesliga clashes with Leipzig, whereas RB have claimed the victory seven times. Hoffenheim have come out on top only once in Leipzig on 21 April 2018 (5-2).

The opposition’s form:

RB Leipzig have wobbled in the Bundesliga of late, winning only two of their last five matches (1-0 away to Hertha BSC and 3-2 at home to FC Augsburg). In that time, coach Marco Rose’s team have also lost against Bochum (1-0), Mainz (3-0) and Leverkusen (2-0).


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Matarazzo: “Our full focus is on ourselves”

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