Despite a slow start to their Champions League campaign Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf is in confident mood ahead of the visit of Levski Sofia.
Bremen bounced back from defeat at Chelsea with an impressive draw against Barcelona.
“We respect Levski, their qualification for the group stage speaks for itself,’ said Schaaf. “But we are obviously full of confidence. The win at Bochum provided us with even more strength and there’s no reason we shouldn’t take these positive aspects into the match.”
Schaaf will be without key midfielders Frank Baumann and Tim Borowski, with Jurica Vranješ likely to play in front of the back four in their absence.
“We had hoped Frank’s injury would improve but it didn’t and therefore he hasn’t been included. Tim has recovered from his knee injury very quickly but he still has a few problems and it would be stupid to take any risks,” added Schaaf.
“I don’t care what the so-called experts say. Levski play very well as a unit and can pose a danger. We want to play well, win and put on an exciting display for our fans and that’s exactly what we’ll do.”
Levski coach Stanimir Stoilov is adamant that they have learned a lot from that defeat from successive defeats to Barcelona and Chelsea.
“We enjoyed a lot of possession, especially against Chelsea,” he said.
“Sadly we didn’t get the result we all wanted but hopefully we can continue where we left off in that game and get a good result. This is our first time in the Champions League and we are suffering under the pressure.
“Hopefully we can improve with every game but Bremen are one of the best teams in Europe. We must defend extremely well and keep possession. Bremen won’t give us a minute to relax and will attack whenever possible.”
Strikers Valeri Domovchiyski and Georgi Ivanov are rated doubtful with minor injuries, and Emil Angelov is out with a groin problem. Stoilov is expected to start with Hristo Yovov up front with Cédric Bardon in a withdrawn role.
Tim Wiese; Clemens Fritz, Per Mertesacker, Naldo, Pierre Wome; Torsten Frings, Jurica Vranješ, Diego, Christian Schulz; Miroslav Klose, Aaron Hunt.
Georgi Petkov; Zhivko Milanov, Igor Tomaši?, Elin Topuzakov, Lucio Wagner; Daniel Borimirov, Richard Eromoigbe, Dimitar Telkiyski, Stanislav Angelov, Cédric Bardon; Hristo Yovov.
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