Nagelsmann: ''I'm expecting a VfB side full of spirit''

In his press conference before the upcoming derby with VfB Stuttgart (Saturday, 15:30 CET), Julian Nagelsmann spoke about Steven Zuber, Saturday's match and the personnel situation.

Julian Nagelsmann on…

…Steven Zuber's form: ''Steven was always motivated when he was with us. Maybe he's even a little bit more motivated now. I'm not particularly surprised by his development at VfB. I know what he's capable of. That's the reason he used to get a lot of playing time for us. I'm happy to see him getting involved in a lot of goals, but he mustn't be allowed to continue this good run of form on Saturday.''

…his head-to-head record against VfB Stuttgart: ''When I was in the youth set-up we always used to win away to VfB. It's something I still haven't managed to achieve as first-team coach. Saturday would be the perfect time to do so.''

…Saturday's match: ''I'm expecting VfB to come into the game full of spirit. I don't think they'll just set up to play defensively, though there will definitely be points in the match where we'll have to create chances against a deep-lying rearguard, but that's something we're prepared for. I think Saturday's match will resemble a mixture between Stuttgart's home game against Hannover and their matches against Leipzig, Dortmund and Bremen. We're roughly in the same part of the table as Bremen - behind Dortmund and Leipzig but ahead of Hannover.''

…the personnel situation: ''Kerem Demirbay has trained again, but he still isn't 100 percent fit. Kasim Adams is back after his suspension. There are a few players who aren't quite at 100 percent fitness but will nonetheless start on Saturday. Lukas Rupp and Dennis Geiger are both still out of action.''

The social media question of the week:

How do you keep a clear head during the match?

''My coaching staff sometimes have to keep me in check. But there's also a few self-discipline methods, such as internal dialogue, which form part of my routine. Though sometimes this internal dialogue just isn't enough. I also have a watch that occasionally tells me that I should take a deep breath or sit down for a while.'

The opposition's form:

The Swabians' recent form has shown a slight upward trajectory. They recently managed a satisfying 5-1 win over Hannover 96, which opened up more of a gap between them and the automatic relegation spots. VfB came close to coming away from Dortmund with a point, but two late goals gave BVB a 3-1 win. Markus Weinzerl's charges currently find themselves in 16th place in the table with a total of 19 points.

The previous encounters:

Hoffenheim and VfB are facing each other for the 20th time in the Bundesliga. The overall head-to-head record goes against TSG, with six wins, eight defeats and five draws. Hoffenheim managed to balance the scales somewhat when they hosted VfB in the reverse fixture, with the home side running out 4-0 winners.


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