Pre match report


Time to switch to cup mode

HSV are preparing to face VFL Wolfsburg away on Saturday afternoon at 15:30 CEST. A win for the Rothosen would see them hit 28 points, just two points behind Saturday’s opponents. Nevertheless, caution will be needed.

HSV picked up an important win against Freiburg last weekend and other results very much went their way. The Rothosen could take a big step towards staying up if they manage to beat VfL Wolfsburg. HSV head coach Christian Titz is aware of the situation but refuses to let the team get carried away: “We are delighted that this year we have had the chance again to be allowed to play in such a fantastic league. I have been constantly thinking about how we can avoid relegation this season. It is important that we do our talking on the pitch.” Titz knows that failure to win could mean trouble for his side.

“We need to show the same character as we would in a cup quarter-final”

So much is riding on Saturday’s match that Titz is considering it to be of the same importance as a cup quarter-final. “The match against Wolfsburg will be like a quarter-final for us. We are taking things step by step and are fully focusing on the match. We want to win to reach our own semi-final.” The head coach’s views could not be clearer: From now on, every match is like a final. In this intense phase of the season, it is time for each individual player to step up and give their all in the final three league matches. In order to prepare his players for the final three weeks of the season, the coach has not been afraid of taking extraordinary measures to ensure success. He has been dividing his players into groups to discuss the offensive and defensive play of their opponents. This strategy should allow each individual to better understand the opponent’s potential game plan. A smart move.

Titz should also have a more complete squad for the match. Julian Pollersbeck and left-back Douglas Santos will be available for selection after recovering from illness. The Brasilian returns to the squad after having missed the match against Freiburg due to suspension.

Key fixture in the relegation battle

VfL Wolfsburg are also in the midst of the relegation battle and have been struggling themselves in recent weeks. Wolfsburg have only won one of their previous eleven matches. They are the only Bundesliga side yet to win a home match in 2018. Both teams will be determined to win to secure their place in next season’s Bundesliga. HSV will only be two points behind Wolfsburg if they win on Saturday, but if they lose, relegation will be looking all the more likely. Despite this, the Rothosen are full of motivation for Saturday’s match. “I am expecting a very physical battle. We will give it our all from kick-off. I think that it will be an interesting and exciting duel between the two sides. If we perform like we did last weekend, then we have a good chance of picking up the three points,” said Titz.

Wolfsburg are also aware of the importance of Saturday’s match. “We had been playing well up until the Gladbach game. We desperately need to pick up points now. It all started back when we played Mainz; we should have won that one. The same goes for the matches against Schalke and Augsburg. We need those points now. We are working hard, but sometimes you also need a little bit of luck. We still have the situation under control, “ stated VfL Wolfsburg head coach Bruno Labbadia. For him, it is of no importance that he is playing his former side . He is completely focused on his own team.

HSV will be travelling to Niedersachsen with confidence, but also aware of the task at hand. 3,000 Hamburg fans will be travelling to the game with the hope that the Rothosen can pick up another needed three points. 

HSV squad for Sunday: Goalkeepers: Mathenia, Pollersbeck; Outfield: Diekmeier, Douglas Santos, Ekdal, Holtby, Hunt, Ito, Jatta, Jung, Kostic, Papadopoulos, Sakai, Salihovic, Steinmann, van Drongelen, Waldschmidt und Wood

VfL Wolfsburg likely line-up: Casteels - Verhaegh, Tisserand, Knoche, Brooks, William - Didavi, Arnold, Bazoer - Malli - Dimata

Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)