"A special atmosphere"
Stephan Lerch is eagerly anticipating his first Champions League game as Lady-Wolves coach against Atletico Madrid.
Having made the perfect start to the Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga, with four wins from four games and a goal-difference of 16:0, this Wednesday, October 4th, the Lady-Wolves face their first challenge in this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League. In the ‘Round of 32’, VfL open with a first-leg clash away to Spanish champions Atletico Madrid (kick-off 19:30 CET). In the Spanish capital, head-coach Stephan Lerch goes into his first Champions League tie in charge of the Lady-Wolves and was brimming with confidence at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday evening: "I am looking forward to setting up the team to face an international opponent – that makes for a special atmosphere. Otherwise, everything is just as it is against any other opponent. We are approaching this match and the task ahead with a great deal of self-belief, as we have played very well thus far in the Bundesliga. However, we are well aware that it will be a tough challenge and that we will be faced by strong opposition."
So far as the match itself is concerned, Lerch is expecting the fans to be treated to a top game: "As soon as we saw the result of the draw, we acknowledged the fact that we had drawn one of the toughest non-seeded teams participating. At the knock-out stage of the Champions League, it’s all or nothing though! We can look forward to an attacking approach being taken by both sides. I’m looking forward to that anyway!” In the end, the team that progresses over the two legs will be the one who “gets a grip” on the other’s offensive efforts."
Wensing replaces Blässe
Anna Blässe has not made the trip to Madrid, as she sits out a suspension following her dismissal in last season’s Champions League quarter-final. As a consequence, Luisa Wensing, who was not involved in last weekend’s 1-0 win at MSV Duisburg, takes a place in the squad. The injured Isabell Kerschowski, Katharina Baunach and Marie Dolvik Markussen are all still unavailable for selection.