Head coach Marco Rose and midfielder Denis Zakaria spoke to the media during a press conference ahead of Thursday evening’s Europa League match at home to AS Roma (21:00 CET).
Marco Rose on...
...the squad: Breel Embolo is doing well, but he will definitely not play tomorrow. Our personnel situation has improved a bit. Denis Zakaria will be able to start, but we will have to wait and see until after our final training session tomorrow if Marcus Thuram, Nico Elvedi, Ramy Bensebaini and the others will be fit to feature. We have several players who are on the way back after injury. In those cases, we will have to decide whether or not it makes sense to include them in the squad tomorrow already.
...the importance of the match: This match is just as important as any other game. People will be looking at how we do and judging us based on our performance. At the same time, we also have goals that we want to accomplish. As a result, we want to deliver a strong performance tomorrow night and be successful.
...the current mood within the team: We’ve played well in several of our recent games and have found our form. Despite our personnel situation being a bit tough at times, we were still able to take home points and have come to terms with being knocked out of the DFB-Pokal. Tomorrow will come down to us backing up our recent performances.
...the upcoming task: We gained a sense of what it’s like to play against Roma during our first meeting. We’ve taken several lessons from that match and have come up with a plan on how to approach the return leg. Roma are currently in good form: they’ve won all three of their Serie A matches since the 1-1 draw against us and have moved into third place in the league. We know that they have a lot of quality in both defence and attack. We need to defend well, but also use our chances up front, especially with the fans’ support pushing us on.
...the Bundesliga in comparison to other top European leagues: There are four or five top leagues in Europe. The Premier League is far above the rest in terms of its financial strength. Otherwise, it’s an equal playing field. Every league has a different way of playing, which is what makes it fun to compete with different teams on an international level.
Denis Zakaria on...
...the previous match against Roma: We were very compact in our first match against Roma, had the right level of aggressiveness and were up to the challenge. We did several things right in the first half. Now, we need to maintain that intensity over the full 90 minutes, given that AS Roma are a strong side. If we’re able to do so, then I’m convinced that we’ll be able to deliver a strong performance.
...his own role within the team: Things are going well for me at the moment. But, it’s about the team as a whole, not me as an individual. We’re playing as a team right now, which is due to the fact that we have several strong, team players within the squad. We have a great group with a lot of quality. I think that we will be able to accomplish a lot this year.
...his idols: I love the way Paul Pogba plays. I’m also a fan of Patrick Viera. Both are players that have, or do, play the same position as I do, which I why I can learn a lot from observing them.