The Wolves take on Hertha BSC in Berlin on Saturday evening.
All of VfL’s internationals have returned unscathed from duty with their respective national teams and have two days in which to prepare with their teammates for the away clash with Hertha BSC (Saturday March 31st – 20:30 CEST). It remains to be seen whether Robin Knoche and Josuha Guilavogui will recover from their knocks in time to start in the capital. At the customary pre-match press conference on Thursday, VfL head coach Bruno Labbadia gave his insights into…
…the personnel situation: Robin Knoche will be tested today prior to training. Josh Guilavogui is somewhat further along and has been working with the ball again since yesterday. However, there are no guarantees yet as far as his involvement is concerned. Felix Uduokhai and Ignacio Camacho have trained well, albeit with some breaks, for the past two weeks. That said, it’s not possible to make up in two weeks what they have lost over months. If Robin is unavailable, we still have another centre-back – plus Felix. The decision will also be based on feeling, but he is certainly an option.
…the opponents Hertha BSC: Scoring lots of goals, like they did in the 3-3 draw when we last met, is not typical for Hertha when you look at how disciplined they are in their approach. You can see they’re a well-drilled unit that have constantly improved bit by bit in recent years. The mechanics of the team function well together. They do that very well. We have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
…his impression from training over the last week: It was good for the players that were there. Particularly during the course of the first week, we were able to get through a lot of work but then we also gave them a bit of relief. You need both in football. With the positive result at Union Berlin, we also had a good ending to the week.
…the current goal drought: When it comes to attacking play, a certain amount of creativity and effortlessness is required. From my own experience I can say: there are sometimes situations as a striker when you don’t even know yourself how you keep scoring. And then there are just periods when you think you’re doing everything you can. It’s something you can only work on in training – there’s no other way. You also need that bit of luck that the ball goes in now and again during a game, but you need to make your own luck during spells like this.
…the three-man midfield of Bazoer, Guilavogui and Arnold in the Schalke game: That was an issue for us right from the outset, because we see specific types of player for that. On the other hand, we also had two playmakers – a variation we decided on to start with. We’ll now have to see what suits us best right at this moment. Yunus Malli and Daniel Didavi can not only play centrally but also out wide, which they have to interpret in their own way. Whatever the system, the question is more: how do we implement it?