Looking to kick on against the new boys

Previewing Sunday’s away game against 1.FC Heidenheim

Marco Friedl on the ball in the friendly against Gladbach
SVW come up against FCH on Sunday (photo: WERDER.DE)
preliminary report
Saturday, 16.09.2023 / 11:30

SV Werder will travel to 1.FC Heidenheim on Sunday, 17th September at 15:30 CEST for matchday 4 of the Bundesliga season. The Green-Whites go into the game against the newly-promoted side as slight favourites – an unfamiliar prospect given that this is only Werder’s second season back in the top flight. Heidenheim’s last few games, as well as previous matches between the two sides, have shown how difficult it is to play against them at home.

Team news: Rafael Borré trained with his new teammates for the first time this week after returning from international duty. Marvin Ducksch, Leonardo Bittencourt, and Naby Keïta were back in full training on Friday after they were all unavailable at the beginning of the week, but it’s still too early for Felix Agu to make his first appearance of the season. “We’ll only be able to say who can play for certain after Saturday’s training session, as well as after we’ve spoken with the medical team,” said Ole Werner in his press conference on Friday.

Head coach Ole Werner on the opposition: “Playing in Heidenheim is always tough; they’re very good at home. They have a lot of power, are good at set-pieces and like to play at a high tempo. Their defenders are very disciplined and tough to play against. Heidenheim are known for playing like this and it’s something we can prepare for. That being said, we ultimately want to focus on playing our brand of football. We’re travelling there knowing full well that it won’t be easy, but we’re looking forward to the challenge and want to get some more points on the board.”

Nullifying Heidenheim’s strengths

Previous meetings: Sunday’s match will be the first meeting between SVW and FCH in the top flight. The teams have clashed on six previous occasions, and there’s no splitting them. Both sides have won two games and both legs of the 2020 relegation playoffs ended in a draw. Sunday’s hosts were victorious in the last encounter, as the Green-Whites were defeated 2-1 on matchday 26 of the 2021/22 Bundesliga 2 season.

Slow starters: Heidenheim have conceded three times and given away two penalties in the opening 15 minutes of their games this season. SVW proved last season that they can be strong in that period of the match, scoring four times in the first quarter of an hour across the first four matchdays.

Strong from set-pieces: One of Heidenheim’s biggest strengths is set-pieces. No other Bundesliga side has scored as many goals as Heidenheim from dead-ball scenarios so far this season (3). However, Werder haven’t conceded from any type of set-piece this term.

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