"Go toe-to-toe and give it all that we’ve got"
Match against FC Bayern kicks off at 18:30 CET on Saturday | Read head coach Domenico Tedesco’s best remarks from the pre-match presser
This Saturday sees last years’ runners-up face off against the German champions, as RB Leipzig travel to FC Bayern München in the prime-time kick-off slot. After a brilliant start to the second half of the season with three league wins and progressing to the quarter-final stage of the DFB-Pokal, we now want to pick up points away to the German record champions.
Head coach Domenico Tedesco spoke about the upcoming challenge and gave a squad update at his pre-match press conference.
Domenico Tedesco on...
...playing the role of outsiders for this match against the league leaders and German record champions:
- “It’s not a ‘bonus match’ for us. That would mean we’d accept it if we lost, and we instead want to put in a good performance. We’d like to stand up to Bayern and give it all that we’ve got. That’s the bare minimum. Simply put, we’re going into the game to be successful.”
...Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann, with whom he went on a football coaching course:
- “It’s been a couple of years since the course, and a lot has happened in the time since, not just for Jule, but for me too. It’s one thing to know the opposition coach well and to have a reasonable idea as to how they like to set up tactically, but it’s another thing to then defend that or exploit their system in attack. He’s done very well, not just at Bayern, but he also made his mark at Hoffenheim and at Leipzig. He’s simply continued his story of success at Bayern.”
...his possession-based playing style and how that will fare against the strongest on-the-ball in the league:
- “We’d love to have more than 50% possession, but when you play Bayern, I think you need to get every aspect of your game right. There are many different ways to set up against Bayern. You can set up deep and focus solely on playing on the counter, or you can try and have lots of possession. At the end of the day, you need to put in a good performance all over the park. But we absolutely want to bring our preferred playing style onto the pitch as well.”
This job’s no fun without fans. I’m not just saying that as a head coach, but as a football fan myself.
...the situation regarding attendance:
- “Fans are important. Without them, this job’s simply no fun. I’m saying that as a head coach, but also as a football fan. I watched the Glasgow derby last night. The entire stadium erupted when a goal was scored, it was amazing. That’s where we want to be, that has to be the end goal. If everyone wants it, then there’s many ways to achieve it. I hope we reach a stage which mirrors that of Scotland at some point.”
...his current record of four defeats in four matches against Bayern:
- “It’s a pretty bad record, yes. We played there four times with Schalke and got beat four times. We lost one of those matches in Munich 2-1, and we could have got more from that game. It wasn’t just a case of suffering defeats, every game was different. It’s always a big game when you face Bayern, you look forward to playing them. The Bundesliga is a great league week in, week out, but matches like this one are special and are really enjoyable and you can sense that in the week building up to it. It gives me a real boost.”
...the opposition’s weaknesses:
- “Every opponent has one - there’s always an opportunity cost, for example when you put a lot of your men into the opposition box. In that situation, you leave yourself vulnerable on the counter compared to teams who don’t load the opposition box as much. But we’re talking about nuances here, and there’s really not much to speak about when it comes to discussing Bayern’s weaknesses.”
Current squad news
- Defender Mohamed Simakan rolled his ankle during Wednesday’s training, but following medical inspection, the doctors have given the Frenchman the all-clear to return to training on Friday.
- Tyler Adams had to come off during USA’s World Cup qualifier against Canada due to injury and will remain in the USA until the end of the week, before hopefully being reintegrated into team training next week.
- Amadou Haidara returned to team training on Wednesday after completing an individual training programme on Tuesday following his return from AFCON, where he reached the round of 16 with his native Mali.
- Marcel Halstenberg missed training this week due a knee injury.
FC Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann on …
...us, Domenico Tedesco and the upcoming match:
- “I’m expecting a decent game - we’re in good form, Leipzig too. Domenico had a clear style and structure at both Aue and Schalke, and he’s got that here as well. He really understands the game. The team has stabilised itself again both defensively and offensively. They’re seeing a lot more of the ball. The club and the team have huge potential - they’re one of the most interesting sides in Europe. We’ve got a real challenge coming up.”
...facing off against his former employers:
- “There’s not been much difference in terms of preparation for the game. From a personal perspective it’s always more exciting to play against your ex-club. I had a fantastic time there and am looking forward to seeing the players again.”