Week after week, the 28-year-old is a solid presence behind Werder’s backline. For Pavlenka, it’s to be expected: “I’m focused on defence, as it’s my job and responsibility to do that.” The goalkeeper also has another explanation ready as to why he managed another clean sheet against Freiburg. “We kept a clean sheet in our first game with Zetti back in the squad,” he said with a laugh. “He’s a great guy and a great goalkeeper. I’m happy that he’s back.”
So far, Werder have been able to play with more freedom than they were able to last season, largely due to their improved defensive stability. “We have more points on the board and aren’t under as much pressure as we were last season,” said Pavlenka, whose focus has shifted to the upcoming away game at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. “The game against Hoffenheim is very important to us. They are our direct competitors.” Werder’s defence can expect a tough challenge this weekend, as they come up against Andrej Kramaric, Ihlas Bebou, Christoph Baumgartner and Co. However, with Jiri Pavlenka backing them up, the Green-Whites stand a good chance of taking something from the game.