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25.09.2020Frauen

Potsdam preview: 'We have to do a good defensive job'

Following the international break, the Bayer 04 Women face a challenging task on Bundesliga matchday three: Head coach Achim Feifel's team are away to FFC Turbine Potsdam on Sunday, 27 September (14.00 CEST).
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"We will face a dynamic and strong team that use aggressive pressing. Potsdam, with a lot of attacking players on the pitch, are very ambitious in turnover play when they win the ball and that makes them so dangerous," warned Feifel. Potsdam finished fourth last season – there have been a number of changes in the squad over the summer.

As with the Werkself Women, Turbine also went through rebuilding in the summer break. Former player Sofian Chahed took over from Matthias Rudolph as coach and is leading his young squad into the new season. In addition to the coach, several long serving players left the club in the summer; with the new signings and remaining players Chahed now has the task of forming a new unit. Newcomers to the squad include the two former Bayer 04 players Merle Barth and Lena Uebach. However, there will be no reunion with the latter on the pitch on Sunday as the 20-year-old is sidelined after a recent knee operation.

The team does not appear to be fully up to speed as yet – the opening match against Bundesliga newcomers SV Meppen only produced a 1-1 draw but there was a 3-1 win against TSG Hoffenheim before the international break. In contrast, the Werkself go into Sunday’s clash with renewed confidence following two successive victories. Feifel's approach: "We will play with total aggression and have to show what we can do in every move from the start. We have to do a good defensive job, be prepared for challenges and try to be successful up front with targeted counter-attacks."

Three new absentees – Nikolic returns to training

Ivana Rudelic is not available for the Potsdam game as she is still in self-isolation following one of her Croatia teammates testing positive for coronavirus. Long-term injury Pauline Wimmer (torn cruciate) and Nicole Banecki (illness) are also ruled out. Sofie Zdebel and Joyce Prabel are continuing to recover from torn muscles, Verena Wieder is back in rehab training following a torn cruciate. In last weekend's friendly against the Germany U19s (played behind closed doors) Ann-Kathrin Vinken suffered a bruised hip and is unavailable for the weekend as is Nina Brüggemann due to a calf injury that will probably keep her out of action for three or four weeks.

Milena Nikolic, who underwent an operation on her finger last week, which he broke in the home game against MSV Duisburg, was able to return for full training this week.

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