A week after the last round of fixtures comes the return legs as the Champions League group stage starts really hotting up. The various trainers and players have been giving their opinions on the upcoming matches. Here’s a summary of what the main protagonists have had to say ahead of the midweek European action.
Borussia Dortmund v Sevilla
Edin Terzic (BVB trainer): “We were able to get a good starting position. But that’s no use if we don’t follow up. Six points won’t be enough to qualify us for the knockout phase.
“We’ve looked very closely at their game against Bilbao and also at how he [Jorge Sampaoli] played at his previous clubs. They changed their system (against Bilbao) three times in the game. We have to prepare for different things.
“We have to focus on our strengths. That has worked well in the past few games. If we put those back on the pitch, we’ll increase the odds of winning the game.”
Niklas Süle (BVB defender): “We want to use this starting position. We are all hot for the round of 16. It’s a milestone for us. We want to take a giant step in front of our own fans.
Papu Gomez (Sevilla midfielder): “The atmosphere is a bit better after the last match. We wanted to win but we needed to avoid defeat. With the new coaching staff, the excitement is back and we’re all motivated and keen to get out of this situation.
“This is a completely different style of football, that doesn’t mean that it’s better or worse. It’s down to us to adopt it as quickly as possible because there’s no time to train as we’re playing every three days. We have to try to put it into practice on the pitch.
“We’re playing in a different competition; we’ll try to get out of this negative spell in each competition and we’ll try to do our best. If we didn’t think positively, we wouldn’t be here, and we’ll try to make each game different so we can begin to get positive results. If that happens, we’ll get out of this spell.”
Celtic v RB Leipzig
Ange Postecoglu (Celtic manager): “If you look at both clubs’ approach, they like to be fully direct and quick with their football and I don’t expect them to sit back at all. Looking at the group as well, for both teams it’s a game where a win is going to be fairly significant.
“So, in the nature of both football clubs, I don’t think it will be an open game, but I think it will be a pretty quick game – it’ll be exciting. If we put in a good performance, there’s a good chance we’ll get a good result.
“For us, again, the focus is playing our football, putting in a strong performance against a good quality opponent and that’ll give us the best chance to get the result we want.
Marco Rose (Leipzig trainer): “We regenerated well after the game in Mainz and travelled to Glasgow today. We prepared in the hotel with a video session and then completed the final training session in the stadium. The team makes a good impression. Of course, we still have to add a few percentages on the day of the match – show attitude, willingness, and enthusiasm for the game. And I’m convinced that the boys will be able to do it.
“Two teams that play in a similar way are meeting again. That won’t change much in the second leg. Of course, both we and Celtic will adjust one or the other detail. But both teams will stick to their clear idea of playing with and against the ball, they want to win and press balls.
“So, it can be as wild as in the first leg and I’m sure things will go off again. We’re ready for it, we have to be attentive especially at the beginning of the game, pull the key moments to our side and put in a top performance for 90 minutes.
“I think you saw last week that for most of the game it was pretty evenly matched. They’ve definitely got some strengths that we need to be wary of, but I think we showed last week that we also have ways we can hurt them as well.”
Andre Silva (Leipzig striker): “It won’t be an easy game for us – especially the fans and the special atmosphere. But we dreamed of playing in stadiums like this when we were kids.
“We have to do everything we can right up to the last minute to be able to win the second leg as well. To do that, we have to appear united and compact again and put the same power on the pitch as we did in the 3-1 win.
“Of course, it is important as a striker and to score well. I scored two goals in the first leg. I want to build on that now and preferably score a goal again. The important thing is that I keep working hard to get even better into the right situations for goals. Above all, however, is the success of the team – if my goals can help, all the better.”
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