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The Werkself have now gone five games in all competitions without a win. Speaking at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gerardo Seoane and Robert Andrich were agreed that the team will soon get back to winning ways. The Werkself number eight said: "We'll play together as a team again – I'm sure of that!"
There is great anticipation ahead of the clash with the team currently lying fifth in La Liga: "Matchdays are the best days of the week. We are all in good spirits, everybody in the team and on the staff are competitive types," declared Seoane ahead of the clash on the fourth matchday, which could prove to be very significant in terms of the final positions at the top of Group G.
With seven points each, the Werkself and Real Betis are currently in pole position to progress to the knockout stages. A potential three points in front of the home crowd could give the Black and Reds a cushion in the race for first place, which would guarantee progress to the Round of 16. "We are only focusing on our performance and not making any calculations," Seoane made clear. However, the Swiss coach did say that defending top spot is "obviously the target."
To ensure that happens, the 43-year-old and his staff have analysed recent games in detail and found starting points, "to improve our performances. We are self-critical but continue to be ambitious."
Definitely ruled out for Thursday night are the injured players Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Charles Aránguiz, Julian Baumgartlinger, Patrik Schick, Karim Bellarabi and Mitchel Bakker. It remains to be seen whether Lucas Alario will be able to play. The Argentina striker has suffered muscular problems for several weeks. Against that background, the 29-year-old worked on his own on Wednesday.
Robert Andrich will definitely be in the line-up. The defensive midfielder, signed by Bayer 04 from Union Berlin in the summer, wants to contribute his "personality and aggression" to help get the performances and results for the Werkself back on track. Andrich: "Everyone knows what's happened in the past few weeks. We now have an even closer focus and are, above all, taking care of the basics."
Broadcasters: RTL, RTL+ and Werkself Radio
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
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