RB Leipzig - Dortmund

Germany: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig A. Sørloth (90)
Red Bull Arena1-3
Dortmund J. Sancho (55), E. Håland (71), E. Håland (84)

Nagelsmann shakes off injury concerns and "plans for victory" against Dortmund

By Peter Vice

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
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.

RB Leipzig
1Péter Gulácsi
4Willi Orban
5Dayotchanculle Upamecano
23Marcel Halstenberg
14Tyler Adams
7Marcel Sabitzer (C) ↩61
8Amadou Haidara ↩71
25Daniel Olmo
10Emil Forsberg ↩61
9Yussuf Poulsen ↩88
33Josep Martínez
11Hwang Hee-Chan ↪71
19Alexander Sørloth ↪61
41Dennis Borkowski
16Lukas Klostermann ↪61
22Nordi Mukiele
45Eric Martel
20Lazar Samardžić ↪88
47Joscha Wosz
1Roman Bürki
24Thomas Meunier
16Manuel Akanji
15Mats Hummels
13Raphaël Guerreiro
28Axel Witsel ↩30
6Thomas Delaney ↩69
7Jadon Sancho ↩85
11Marco Reus (C) ↩85
32Giovanni Reyna
9Erling Håland
25Luca Unbehaun
18Youssoufa Moukoko
27Steffen Tigges ↪85
2Mateu Morey
5Dan-Axel Zagadou ↪69
14Nico Schulz
26Łukasz Piszczek
19Julian Brandt ↪85
23Emre Can ↪30

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