It’s time for matchday 1!
Our boys begin the new Bundesliga season away at Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon. Our head coach Marco Rose answered the media’s questions ahead of the difficult away game to begin the season at Leverkusen.
What kind of shape is the squad in? What does our coach expect from the opposition? What does he expect from his own team?
We have summarised Marco’s most important quotes.
- Amadou Haidara (muscle injury) and El Chadaille Bitshiabu (MCL tear) are unable to play in the first game.
- Christoph Baumgartner is back in team training and could possibly be an option for the Bundesliga opener.
- Kevin Kampl was put through testing yesterday and returns to team training today. If there are no side-effects, Kevko will feature in Leverkusen.
- Benjamin Sesko had problems throughout the week with a tendon in his foot, but should be back in team training today.
- Péter Gulácsiis “on the right track” according to Marco Rose and continues to work towards making a comeback.
Willi Orban speaks to the media
Marco Rose on…
…the opposition Bayer 04 Leverkusen
- “I’m pleased for Xabi Alonso and what he has achieved so far. He is a top coach with a good personality and a clear idea of how he wants to play. They still managed to make the most of things last season after a tough start and managed to reach the Europa League semi-finals.
First of all, they have now gained lots of experience in the form of Jonas Hofmann and Granit Xhaka. They have altered the chemistry and the make-up of the squad as a result. However, they naturally also have a lot of power and know how to play good football. That is to be expected. Leverkusen will provide a big challenge for us, so we need to work hard and defend well.”
…a possible starting XI for the match
- “We naturally have a starting XI in mind and have been giving some thought to the matter. We just need to look at how Leverkusen are going to play tomorrow, because it isn’t yet clear. They played with a 4-2-3-1 a lot of the time in pre-season, but played almost solely with a back three last season.
If they were to play with a back three, that could also provoke us to make certain decisions. However, we want to focus on ourselves. We did that brilliantly in Munich, so there’s no real reason to change anything.”
Marco Rose on…
…the main areas of focus during pre-season
- “The main priority was naturally to assemble a squad that is capable of continuing to achieve our ambitious goals. It was then all about integrating all the new players. That was a particularly important aspect of our training camp.
We then wanted to develop our triggers in and out of possession step-by-step. Both sides of the game are important for us as we want to be able to switch seamlessly between the two and be effective in both directions. We worked on and developed all of these things.”
…expectations for the new season
- “We want to remain ambitious here at RB Leipzig. Principally, we want to win every game. There has been some noise outside of the club due to the victory and strong performance in Munich. We already know how to put a lid on that. The positive thing is that we know that we can do it.
We produced a very good, disciplined performance in front of 75,000 spectators in a final in Munich. We want to build on that. However, the fact is that we have lost some incredible players and the entire core of the team. We showed in Munich though that we can still perform without these players.
Max, Felix and Rouven have done some outstanding work and have brought in some great players. Now, we want to constantly produce our best on the pitch. We want to still be in the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League when the New Year comes around. We want to beat everyone we face in the Bundesliga.”
We knew that he fits perfectly into our game.
Marco Rose on…
…Castello Lukeba’s natural position
- “Castello has a very good left foot and has integrated well. It’s already been very enjoyable watching him in training. We need to see how and when we can integrate him into our style of play. There’s always the option of playing him as part of a back three.
I also believe that he can play as a left-back. That’s not the plan, but it could be possible under certain circumstances. However, we are working on signing another left-back.”
…Benjamin Sesko and Xavi Simons
- “Everything we expected to see from Sesko has been evident so far. He is a good guy and one of those players who naturally wants to be on the pitch. He did very well during his 30 minutes on the pitch in Munich, I thought. You could already see what we are excited about. We want to continue developing him and provide some stability.
We scouted Xavi for a long time and saw a lot of him. We knew that he fits perfectly into our game. That’s alongside everything that he brings as a footballer and an individual. He has already shown that despite his youthfulness. However, it’s a new league and a new country. He’s started very well on the whole, but it’s possible that a couple of unpredictable things and challenges crop up along the way.”