|Domenico Tedesco.||Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0|
On March 2nd, the German Red Bulls head to Hannover in the DFB Pokal quarterfinals. As the last major Bundesliga club left standing in Germany's domestic cup, there's plenty of pressure on the Saxons to take the competition.
Ahead of this crucial stretch, Tedesco was pleased to report that all members of his squad (excepting fullback Marcel Halstenberg) were fit and available at his final pre-match presser yesterday. The 36-year-old reported that Tyler Adams, Mohamed Simakan, Kevin Kampl, and Dominik Szoboszlai were all available.
"We have a lot of options and are very pleased to have all these options," the gaffer remarked with a grin, "Very good quality. We'll definitely need all the guys."
In Tedesco's current tactical set-up, he has as many as seven top quality players competing for three positions in Tedesco's constellation. Adams, Kampl, Konrad Laimer, and Amadou Haidara all qualify for the double-six set up-up in midfield. Szoboszlai and now healthy actors Dani Olmo and Emil Forsberg duke it out for the ten-spot.
Tedesco explicitly ruled out any "radical changes" to his system. Instead, he simply listed reasons for the potential benching of some players.
"Factors such as training, performance, and our specific needs against the opponent play a role," the trainer noted, "If someone's in form, we won't take them out for the sake of rotation. It's clear that there might be some disappointment."
Tedesco will play before by far his largest home crowd ever since taking the reigns from Jesse Marsch in early December. Leipzig's health department has approved the admittance of up to 15,000 fans at the Red Bull Arena. There's even some talk of 25,000 being allowed in for next week's Europa League fixture.
Wir für euch. Ihr für uns. Gemeinsam für #Leipzig! ❤️⚪ Wir haben dafür gekämpft, unsere Heimspiele in der #RedBullArena wieder mit euch feiern zu können – und an diesem Freitag gegen den 1. FC Köln können unter Flutlicht 15.000 Fans dabei sein.#RBLKOE pic.twitter.com/2OO8XTQ4Pw— RB Leipzig (@RBLeipzig) February 10, 2022
Regarding Leipzig's guest on Friday evening for the Bundesliga's 22nd round curtain-raiser, it has been confirmed that the cathedral city side will be without leading goal-scorer Anthony Modeste. The scorer of 14 of Köln's 33 goals (or 42 percent!) this season obviously constitutes a huge loss.
The last time Köln won a game without Modeste scoring came in the round 13 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in November.
The club noted that the French striker was taken ill yesterday and would not make the trip.