Pellegrino Matarazzo on…
…the short preparation period for the match: “We’re expecting a defensively stabler team that is very compact and switches very well after winning the ball. We need to provide the information for the most efficient players this week. The team will get a good match plan.”
…his squad: “Many players have shown that they want to take on leadership. Whether it’s new signings like Thomas Delaney and Jay Brooks or younger players such as Christoph Baumgartner and Dennis Geiger. They really are many who want to and can lead the team. What’s important is that everyone takes on responsibility; then we’ll perform.”
…the table situation: “What’s important is that we understand where we are. We need to move forwards. After 19 rounds of matches, the table doesn’t lie. There’s a reason why we are where we are. We want to correct that.”
You can read further statements from the press conference with Pellegrino Matarazzo and director of football Alexander Rosen about their collaboration, the objectives and the current situation here.
The personnel situation:
Pellegrino Matarazzo will be without long-term injury absentees Jacob Bruun Larsen and Grischa Prömel in his first game as TSG coach. Pavel Kadeřábek and Robert Skov will also be unavailable. Kevin Vogt is still doubtful.
Bayer 04 have the superior record. Leverkusen have won 16 of the 29 Bundesliga meetings, while TSG have emerged victorious seven times. However, Hoffenheim ran out convincing 3-0 winners away to the Werkself in their last meeting.
The opposition’s form:
After starting the year with victories in Mönchengladbach (3-2) and at home to Bochum (2-0), Xabi Alonso’s team have lost their last two games. A 2-0 defeat to Dortmund was followed by a 1-0 loss away to FC Augsburg last week.