Hoffenheim - Molde

Europe: Europa League
WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena0-2
Molde E. Andersen (20), E. Andersen (90)

Richards confident ahead of Molde clash: "We can be the first team from the Bundesliga to win the Europa League"

By Peter Vice

After his third strong match in a TSG 1899 Hoffenheim jersey, Bayern loanee Chris Richards is apparently feeling quite confident about his new team's prospects.

The American thinks the Sinsheimers have what it takes to win the Europa League. His coach called the assertion an "interesting statement".

Chris Richards.
Chris Richards.Photo: TSG Hoffenheim

Germany's Kraichgauer stand in the pole position to advance to the Europa League round-of-16 after collecting three "away goals" in last week's first-leg tie against Molde FK. New on-loan central defender Chris Richards brims with confidence not only about the squad's prospects in the match itself, but also its prospects deeper into the tournament.

"The win against Bremen gives us lots of confidence ahead of Molde," the 20-year-old told reporters, "We all have high hopes. We also have the strength to beat any team. I thinks it's possible that we can perhaps be the first team from the Bundesliga to win the Europa league."

Hoffenheim trainer Sebastian Hoeneß knows Richards quite well from their mutual days on the Bayern campus. Hoeneß coached the young prospect last year at FC Bayern II; the predominant reason he was so adamant about bringing the Alabama native in on loan from the German giants in January.

"An interesting statement," Hoeneß noted when asked about Richards' comments at a presser today, "I think it's basically positive, but for us it's mainly a manner of reaching the next round. On the one hand, we need a certain humility. The optimism from Chris nevertheless makes for a good mix."

Richards has played in two league fixtures and on UEL match since arriving in Sinsheim. Analyses of his performances conducted for this website award him very strong marks for both his Bundesliga games.

1Oliver Baumann (C)
22Kevin Vogt
11Florian Grillitsch
28Chris Richards
3Pavel Kadeřábek ↩70
16Sebastian Rudy
18Diadie Samassekou ↩84
30Marco John ↩70
14Christoph Baumgartner ↩56
9Ihlas Bebou
10Moanes Dabour
12Philipp Pentke
23Sargis Adamyan ↪70
27Andrej Kramarić ↪56
33Georginio Rutter ↪84
35Maximilian Beier
15Kasim Nuhu
17Ryan Sessegnon ↪70
32Melayro Bogarde
1Andreas Linde
27Marcus Pedersen
5Sheriff Sinyan
3Birk Risa
28Kristoffer Haugen
17Fredrik Aursnes
11Martin Ellingsen
14Erling Knudtzon ↩79
7Magnus Eikrem (C)
23Eirik Andersen
10Björn Sigurðarson ↩63
26Mathias Ranmark
34Oliver Petersen
30Mathis Bolly ↪63
25Emil Breivik
40Adrian Ugelvik
15Tobias Christensen
19Eirik Hestad ↪79

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