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“We’re not going to be gifted anything”

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RB Leipzig’s next game is away to VfL Wolfsburg this Saturday. Our midfielder Xaver Schlager joined the club from the Wolves last summer, so he knows all about our next opponents. He spoke to us about the mood in the dressing room ahead of this match, VfL’s style of play and what’s needed to beat them.

Xaver Schlager on…

his first game at his former home:

  • “I’ll see a lot of familiar faces, old friends and colleagues. A lot of memories will come flooding back to me and I’ll definitely be laughing a lot on Saturday. Nevertheless, I’m heading there to play a game and we want to win it, friendships will be forgotten when we’re on the pitch. The fact that I was there for a long time and know how the team works will only help us.

    I’m in regular contact with my former teammates and I’m good friends with Maximilian Arnold. It will definitely be nice to see my old team.”

 

Wolfsburg’s style of play:

  • “It will be an extremely difficult game. Wolfsburg have recorded the most intensive runs in the league this season. They work really hard without the ball and that’s tough to face. It’s always easier to mark someone that’s not moving about as much.

    Their way of playing fully aligns with their slogan ‘Work. Football. Passion’. They’ve got a really young team and they’re hungry for success. It’s hard to play against such a motivated team, they will give it all they can from the first whistle, just as they have in recent weeks.”

 

RB Leipzig’s strengths:

  • “We have to play our own way and get into positions that can hurt Wolfsburg. We have to cause them problems by running hard and getting stuck in ourselves. One threat we have is our quality with the ball, we have to make use of that.”

All you need to know before #WOBRBL

Opponent analysis

700 fans attend training

a flexible system:

  • “Not every opponent plays the same way. Every team brings different ideas and ways of playing with them, so obviously we also have to adapt the way that we play sometimes. We swapped our full-backs in the game against Union Berlin so that we were able to deal with Union’s pressing better.

    The idea of inverted full-backs is often very sensible and is still not used enough, I think. The attackers often play on their opposite wing, so why not at the back as well? These are also not experiments from the coach, but changes that we know should help us in the game.”
     

current form:

  • “We’re not going to be gifted anything – you saw that in the game against Union. Two draws, two wins and a loss – I don’t think that’s what we are aspiring to. That is not enough; we have to keep working on ourselves, maybe even a bit more than others. For us now, it is about fully focussing on the basics: Working and training hard so that we can get a result on matchday that we’re pleased with. You can’t buy anything with past results, so a run of 18 games unbeaten doesn’t help us any further in the future.

    We are training hard, trying to learn patterns of play as well and we talk openly about what we can do better. This is how we will manage to win at the weekend.”

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