The Bundesliga is back! RB Leipzig travel to take on VfB Stuttgart on Sunday at 15:30 CEST.
At the official press conference ahead of the first game of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season, head coach Domenico Tedesco spoke to the media about the condition of the squad, lessons from the DFL-Supercup, expectations for the season and the weekend’s opposition.
Domenico Tedesco on...
… the situation of the squad:
"We’re in a good way at the moment. Joško Gvardiol trained with the team again and is therefore an option for the matchday squad on Sunday. After such a long time out, it’s unlikely that he’ll start the game but he’s been training well and we have the feeling that he’s never been away. He was fully stuck in – sprints, duels, build-up play. He’s doing really well.
Alexander Sørloth is also back in training. Yussuf Poulsen has a long-term injury and will obviously be out of this weekend’s game and Ilaix Moriba won’t play due to a knock."
… Dani Olmo:
"Dani’s in great condition and has trained really well. Like with every player, we expect him to enjoy his football and approach the game in the same way. He’s someone who can make the difference. He’s made a very good impression on me."
… first impressions of new signing David Raum:
"David is an option to start the game. He has done everything really well so far, exactly as we were hoping and expecting him to. He was able to have a complete pre-season with Hoffenheim before joining us and you can see that. David is a positive guy who enjoys his football. He fits our system really well."
… take-aways from the Supercup:
"We’re fully prepared for the new season and we’re raring to go. We were able to take a lot away from the Supercup game against Bayern in all areas. We played a really good after the break and won the second half 3-2. Overall, it was a game with a lot going on. The goal is to keep up with Bayern over the course of the season. We deserved to lose the Supercup in the end because we gave too much away in the first half and conceded three goals. Bayern were then dominant with everything they had in their ranks.
We have a great team with some very good players and I think we can hurt a lot of teams, whether that’s in the Bundesliga or other competition. We can hurt everyone. We have to be on it from the start in every game and play with a lot of intensity. If we do that, we’ll do well!"
… his expectations of the new season:
"I hope that we can win lots of games. I want us to achieve lots and create many special moments for the club and for the fans. This is the first season that we are going in to with a title under our belt. There is a great atmosphere here and it was fantastic for the Supercup. My compliments have to go to the fans because they made it electrifying."
… den VfB Stuttgart in der vergangenen und kommenden Saison:
"I think there is a certain buzz in Stuttgart at the moment. It wasn’t easy for them last season but they secured their survival right at the end. You also have to remember that important players like Silas and Kalajdzic were missing for large parts of the season so they couldn’t make a big impact. They are now back on board and I believe that VfB will have a similar season to two years ago. They do lots of good things and they have a good structure and a great coach.
They showed in the second half of last season what they are capable of. They have intelligent ball-playing midfielders in their squad, like Endo. Despite our 2-0 victory back in January, we got the feeling that not everything was perfect. VfB are a tough opponent and we can say for sure that it won’t be an easy game with all the euphoria they have at the moment. But you can also say that that it is never easy in the Bundesliga."
… the opening Bundesliga weekend:
"Bundesliga games come down to the small details every week. It doesn’t matter whether it is against Stuttgart, Köln or Union. We have already experienced how difficult it is to play against such opponents. There are no teams in the Bundesliga that don’t have their strengths. You also wouldn’t find teams with clear weaknesses in the Premier League or in Serie A. Every squad can compete. I expect my players to be up for it and that we will approach the game with a high intensity."
... VfB head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo:
"I did my football coaching badges with Pellegrino Matarazzo back in the day. He is a very affable half-Italian, half-American…he combines the two like no one else (laughs). I really like him and get on with him really well. Whenever I see him we click back into gear straight away."
... his background in Stuttgart:
"I have had to sort out lots of tickets for my family and friends. VfB is kind of my hometown club. I spent a lot of my seminal years there and I went to the stadium a lot as a kid to cheer on the “magical trio” (Krassimir Balakow, Giovane Élber and Fredi Bobic). It always something special when I return to Stuttgart."
Pellegrino Matarazzo at the VfB press conference:
- "Leipzig are a very versatile side. It's a big challenge for us. We have to go into the game as one with good communication on the pitch. It's also important to have a good defensive positioning when we're on the ball and make the right decisions to not allow the opposition attack us on the counter. We're prepared and are hoping for a good game."