Team spirit the key ahead of table-topping clash

Hamburger SV will not be at full strength for Monday’s trip to Köln, but expects his players to be up to the task.

On Friday, head coach Hannes Wolf held a training session behind closed doors at the Voplksparkstadion, in order to work on tactics away from the public eye. On Saturday however, the doors to Volksparkstadion were open once again and fans were able to watch their favourite players in action as they trained on pitches near the stadium.

Notable absentees

Top scorer Pierre-Michel Lasogga did not take part in Friday’s training session and also missed out on Saturday due to an adductor injury. It is still unknown as to whether the number ten will be available for Monday’s game, whilst midfielder Lewis Holtby will miss the game through suspension after picking up a yellow card during last Monday’s defeat against Magdeburg. Aaron Hunt and Hee-chan Hwang are still in rehabilitation phases of their respective injuries, and will be unavailable for the match against Köln.

Naturally, head coach Wolf would have liked to be at full strength ahead of such an important game. Through the absences of Hunt, Hwang and Holtby, Die Rothosen will be without a lot of quality and experience, and Wolf is hoping team spirit can make up for that and provide the difference – during Saturday’s training session, there was a clear significance placed on enjoyment and anticipation ahead of Monday’s trip to the league leaders. FC Köln will provide a huge task for HSV, having taken six victories from their last seven games. Whether Die Rothosen will have Lasogga to help them or not remains yet to be decided.