Bremen (dpa) – Werder Bremen had not been this close to its destination for months.
The four-time German champion has been on a relegation zone in the Bundesliga since the beginning of February. Just two weeks ago, after the 1-4 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the first game after the Corona break, many fans thought: that was it.
But already on Wednesday (8.30 p.m. / Sky) the Bremen team could improve on the relegation place with a victory in the catch-up game against Eintracht Frankfurt. Should the victory be five goals apart, Werder would even be table-15 again.
“The game has a final character, but there are five more finals afterwards,” said coach Florian Kohfeldt at a virtual press conference. “Tomorrow nothing will happen that can finally save us. We’re still behind, so we’re under pressure.”
His Frankfurt colleague Adi Hütter sounded very similar when it came to this urgency. “It is an important and significant game for both teams, in which the motto is: losing is prohibited,” said the Austrian. Because Eintracht has also opened a door with the recent 2-1 victory in Wolfsburg and the end of a week-long series of defeats. Should she win in Bremen, she would have an almost unachievable lead of eight points over the relegation place five matchdays before the end. Should she lose, however, the tremors would start again in Frankfurt.
In view of this explosive sporting spirit, both clubs have almost forgotten the turbulent history of the game. Actually, it should take place on March 1st, and therefore before the break of this season. But a Frankfurt Europa League game in Salzburg had to be postponed by one day, which is why the German Football League also canceled the Bundesliga game in Bremen. Werder was upset because of that, and just three days later Werder lost both a DFB Cup game against Eintracht and his important defender Ömer Toprak for several months. The Frankfurt Filip Kostic had badly fouled him.
The fact that Toprak is expected to return to training this week is a good fit to the significantly improved mood in Bremen. “The injury was tragic and totally stupid for us. But Filip Kostic sincerely apologized immediately after the game. There is no bad blood on our part,” said Kohfeldt. “I also have a very good relationship with Adi Hütter.”
Both coaches may have drawn the consequences of the sports crashes just in time. They both want their teams to play forward. But the necessary “bristle” (“Frankfurter Rundschau”) was lost to Werder this season and later to Eintracht.
That is exactly what has changed – especially in Bremen. “Werder is now defending better and more closed. They are stable again. It is certainly not the same team as three to four weeks ago,” said Adi Hütter. His colleague Kohfeldt sees it very similarly after the two 1-0 victories against Schalke 04 and SC Freiburg and the meanwhile 0-0 against Borussia Mönchengladbach: “The effect on the team is: you believe that you can play to zero You believe that you can digest neck hits and win a Bundesliga game, “he said. Exactly this belief should not be destroyed again on Wednesday.
The expected lineups:
Werder Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Friedl – Vogt – M. Eggestein, Klaassen – Bittencourt, Rashica – Sargent
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp – Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger – Chandler, Rode, Sow, Kostic – Kamada – Dost, Silva