In their first midweek evening game of the season at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Hoffenheim host Stale Solbakken's Köln side, with the last meeting between these two sides still fresh in the mind. On matchday 7 in the Bundesliga, 1899 travelled to Köln and were beaten 2-0, putting in one of their poorest performances of the season. “We were far too slow moving the ball around that day. And there wasn't enough thrust to our game up front.” TSG will be looking to avenge that defeat.
The magic of the cup
Champions Borussia Dortmund ruthlessly exposed Köln's shortcomings last Saturday, defeating the GeiÎ²bocke 5-0 and sending the away fans to exit in their droves. But despite Saturday's horror show in the Signal Iduna Park, Stani is expecting a highly motivated side which will be doing everything in its power to ‘make up for the defeat.' The TSG manager also knows that cup games can always be unpredictable. “They're always very different from a normal league game, the same rules don't apply”, said the manager.
Rotation is possible
At Tuesday's press conference, Stanislawski was keeping tight-lipped about his team selection, but did admit that there could be some rotation from the squad which featured against Borussia Mönchengladbach. “We'll make the final decision regarding team selection after training tomorrow. This week is the first week of the season where Hoffenheim have a game in midweek and then a game at the weekend, so Stanislawski will likely rotate his squad to maintain the competition for places, something which Gylfi Sigurdsson is enthusiastic about: “It's great that the manager can rotate the squad. It maintains competition n the squad, and that can only be a good thing, because everyone's challenged to improve themselves constantly”, said the Icelandic international. Apart from Tom Starke (concussion), Tobias Weis (flu) and Matthias Jaissle (Achilles), Holger has a fit squad of layers to choose from.
Still tickets available
There are still tickets available for Tuesday evening's game in Sinsheim, for those who would like to go along and support 1899. 15,000 pre-sale tickets have already been sold. Ticket offices are open from 6.00 pm before the game, and can also be purchased from the Ticket Shop at the stadium from 9.00 am on Tuesday morning.