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“It’ll be intense”

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The Wolves return to action after the international break with a game against FC Augsburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday 1 April (kick-off 15:30 CEST). While VfL were able to consolidate seventh place with victory at VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 25, FCA remain in 12th spot – ten points behind the Green-and-Whites – after being held by Schalke 04. At Friday’s pre-match press conference, VfL boss Niko Kovac discussed…

… the personnel situation after the international break: “More or less everyone has come through it unscathed. Kilian Fischer was the only player to leave the U21s early because of injury. Lukas Nmecha and Bartol Franjic remain sidelined and Lukas Ambros is still unavailable.”

… Koen Casteels’ status and the importance of keeping him at VfL: “Koen is a goalkeeper who – since he joined VfL – has been among the top three to five keepers in the league. I’m very pleased we have him. He’s proven [his worth] on several occasions already this season. Ten clean sheets speak volumes about him and the defensive performance of the team as a whole. We hope he’ll extend his contract – that’s our wish.”

… the final straight in the Bundesliga: “It gets down to the nitty-gritty in the final two months, when league positions and titles are decided. It’s important to put yourself in a good position before now. We’ve done that by being in seventh place, but we want to use our [last] nine games to stay there. We’ll take anything we can achieve beyond that.”

… opponents Augsburg: “FCA have been battling relegation for several years now and have developed a DNA of signing hungry, physical players. As such, they go about their business and man-mark you all over the pitch for the entire 90 minutes. We’ll hardly have any time or space, which is why we’ll have to find quicker solutions in order to create opportunities. It’ll be intense – it certainly was in our first game against them and in the friendly after our training camp. It’ll be a tough 90 minutes and we won’t be able to solve everything just by playing football. It’s going to be a battle, but the players are aware of that.”

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“It’ll be intense”

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