Young Leipzig trainer Julian Nagelsmann boldly declared that he was "already planning for victory" ahead of this weekend's crucial showdown against Borussia Dortmund.
Insofar as the RB injured-reserve-list is concerned, however, the team continues to lose top players.
|Julian Nagelsmann insisted that his mounting injury problems were "not a big worry".||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag|
In a Thursday press conference, Julian Nagelsmann confirmed that attacker Christopher Nkunku and Kevin Kampl would not be available for selection in this weekend's fixture against the BVB. Nkunku, struggling with an ankle injury, suffered a relapse in training and has been ruled out. Kampl has reported pain in both his left knee and ankle. His coach thus considered it highly unlikely that he would be deployed before the medical staff could figure out what was going on.
Nagelsmann also dressed the fate of his many long-term injured players. As expected, Konrad Laimer, Justin Kluivert, Benjamin Henrichs, Ibrahima Konaté, and new signing Dominik Szoboszlai remain off the table. In one spot of good news, right-back/winger Nordi Mukiele should be able to return after sitting out the last round with his own ankle issues.
A confident Nagelsmann supplied the assembled press corps with an optimistic attitude ahead of Saturday's marquee matchup. The team's depleted ranks, not to mention a five-match-winless run against Dortmund entering the encounter, may give some cause for concern, but the 33-year-old trainer seemed to think his team stood well poised to collect all three points.
"It's a different set of circumstances now," Nagelsmann noted when asked about the streak, "We've developed well and are in good form. We possess the necessary confidence to do better in this game."
"If you're in the groove and winning, everything else can be traversed," he noted when asked about the injuries, "It's a matter of simply continuing to surf this wave of success and keep putting in hard work. The lads have always kept their foot on the gas pedal."
The stat that seemed to impress Nagelsmann the most from his side's 1-0 victory over Stuttgart last week was the cumulative total distance covered by his team. Leipzig racked up an estimated total of 120.7 kms, a solid five more kms than that of their opponents.
"This team has incredible character, strength, and willpower to always push the limits," he emphasized.