Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Ahead of the visit of Lazio, Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf admits that his side cannot affford to squander any more points if hey wish to make progress in this season’s Champions League.
“It is very important to win if we want to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stage,” he said. “We have two games against Lazio now and we have to get as many points as possible.”
Bremen’s position in the Champions League looks precarious following successive defeats in their opening two games. Schaaf’s men have been here before, of course, recovering from an identical start to qualify for the first knockout round two seasons ago.
“We have to be active and play our game, impose our qualities on the game and be effective – find space and keep possession of the ball,” added Schaaf. “Possession is not the only thing – we have to be effective with it and to win the game.”
With two draws to their name, Lazio coach Delio Rossi played down the significance of Wednesday’s encounter between the group’s third and fourth-placed sides.
“It is not decisive because there are still three games to play,” he said. “We cannot play for a 0-0 draw because we aren’t that kind of team. We cannot just sit back and defend.”
Rossi admitted his options were limited. Midfielder Stefano Mauri and defender Sebastiano Siviglia picked up injuries in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Livorno, joining Emilson Sanchez Cribari and Cristian Ledesma on the sidelines.
“I have to think about which players I can put out on the pitch because we have a lot of injuries,” said Rossi, although he should be able to count on Valon Behrami, Massimo Mutarelli and Goran Pandev, despite that trio carrying knocks.
Bremen, by contrast, have few injury concerns. Captain Torsten Frings and fellow midfielder Tim Borowski have both recently returned from injury, and with Clemens Fritz, and Hugo Almeida set to return from minor knocks, Schaaf has a fulll complement to choose from.