League football returns after the international break! The team will be back in Bundesliga action on Saturday, taking on SC Freiburg at 15:30 CEST. The fourth-placed side will play host, welcoming RBL to the Europa-Park Stadion for the first competitive game to be played in the new ground.
Jesse Marsch answered the questions of journalists before giving a team news update following the international break.
Jesse Marsch on...
... meeting the fans on Wednesday:
- "It was a very nice occasion. We took some great photos with the fans and I also got a few tips in regard to our tactical approach. Our fans always give us positive energy when they’re present at our training sessions, so we’re always really happy to have them there."
... SC Freiburg:
- "Christian Streich is a fantastic coach and instills a certain confidence in his team. They have a clear plan in their gameplay and are dangerous at set pieces. The new stadium will definitely make it a special game. We have a lot of respect for their team. It’s an important game for us on Satruday, and after recent results we have a certain momentum on our side that we want to use."
... the defence:
- "We’re really well set up in defence and can play with either a back three or a back four depending on what kind of opposition we’re facing. A lot of our players are very versatile, for example, Joško Gvardiol can play as a centre back or at full back. Konrad Laimer and Tyler Adams have also played in defence before. Willi Orban is a leader of the defence and Mohamed Simakan has a certain advantage due to having played a great season so far and played alongside Willi often. That’s always worked well."
We want to bring consistency to our game.
... expectations of his team this weekend:
- "We want to bring an element of consistency to our game. We have to base our play off our strengths, which means pressing high, playing towards the front and putting the opposition under pressure. In recent games we’ve needed too much team in our build-up play and had a lot of possession. We have to fix that and orientate around our strengths."
... the upcoming Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain:
- "That’s not an issue for us at the moment. Our players know that they have to take a game-by-game approach. We’re aware that our Champions League campaign hasn’t gone as well as we had hoped so far. But the best preparation for next week’s game is a win this weekend, so that’s what we’re concentrating on at the moment."
Current team news:
- Marcel Halstenberg is required to undergo a minor knee procedure and will be out for the foreseeable future.
- Brian Brobbey continues to work on returning from a thigh injury suffered with Netherlands U21.
- Saturday’s game comes too soon for Dani Olmo, who has recently returned to training after injury.
- Nordi Mukiele and Christopher Nkunku are available for Saturday after minor injuries in training.