RB Leipzig travel to take on Borussia Mönchengladbach on matchday 32 of the Bundesliga and look to take back third place in the table. A win on Monday could see Domenico Tedesco’s team overtake Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who are currently a point ahead of the Red Bulls and take on SC Freiburg at the same time.
The RBL head coach spoke to the media ahead of the game and gave a team news update.
Domenico Tedesco on...
... The race for the Champions League:
"We’ve placed all of our focus on the Bundesliga and this game and we’re not thinking about the UEFA Europa League semi-final yet. We’re fully focused on the game against Gladbach because that’s an important game. Every game is important for us now.
We’re going into this game full of anticipation and we’re really up for it. We want to deliver a really good performance over there on the road.
We’re getting closer and closer to the end of the season, but I don’t feel any pressure. When you’re in the position that we are with three games to go, of course you want to achieve something. We only have positive emotions. We’re all really pumped. We’re not feeling any sense of pressure.
You also have to look at how the team has performed over the past few months. My first job after taking over as head coach was at home against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Both teams were level on points back then and now we have 16 points more than them – that says a lot about these players and their drive."
... Gladbach’s potential:
"There are no easy games in the Bundesliga, and during the run-in, the changes begin to occur in the league table.
Gladbach have a good squad and have good players in every position. That’ve shown in previous weeks that they’re back in form. Their game against SC Freiburg is a good representation of the potential that they have within their squad. Scoring three goals and still taking a point against Freiburg is not an easy task.
Borussia don’t have anything to lose in the league, so I’m expecting them to play the ball out vertically from the back and play direct football. They have a lot of good players in their squad who can play that style."
... What’s important for ‘crunchtime’ of the season:
"What we need during the final weeks of the season is enjoyment in our play. It’s important to me that the team understands that the reason they’ve got themselves into this situation is because they’ve worked for it. It’s a big plus. Playing football has to carry on being fun for the boys.
We’ve trained really well this week. The enjoyment on the pitch was there and you could tell how much the boys are looking forward to the upcoming games.
We have to keep our heads clear. Those are the most important things for us."
... Christopher Nkunku:
"Every game writes its own story, both in the build up and afterwards. We have to look at how our players are doing after every game, at whether they’re ready for the next game or maybe need a little break.
Christo is obviously someone who can go to the highest limit – similarly to Robert Lewandowski at Bayern, who plays every game and doesn’t seem to have been injured in what feels like 20 years. Christo is in the same category.
He’s really good for us. But of course, someone like Christopher Nkunku also has to be fresh. We’re in the position to be able to rotate.
The missed chances against Rangers haven’t affected him. He’s having an incredible season and we’re pleased with him. He’s someone who can put something like that behind him and look ahead to what’s next – that is something that makes him stand out."
+++ Team news +++
- Amadou Haidara continued to work on his return from an MCL injury in his knee and could be a part of the matchday squad for the game against FC Augsburg.
- After missing the Europa League game against Rangers through suspension, Kevin Kampl, Willi Orban and Mohamed Simakan are available for Monday’s Bundesliga game.