Bayer 04 Leverkusen will attempt to stifle Real Sociedad de Fútbol's penchant for free-flowing football when the teams meet in UEFA Champions League Group A.
Those were the sentiments of Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypiä, who stressed the importance of home advantage after his side lost 4-2 at Manchester United FC on matchday one. Visiting boss Jagoba Arrasate, though, sees a way to victory for a Real Sociedad outfit beaten at home by FC Shakhtar Donetsk two weeks ago.
Sami Hyypiä, coach
With it being our first home match of the group stage it's important that we win to stand a good chance of qualifying. Our opponents are very strong, a typical Spanish team – good technically and attractive to watch. They played extremely well last season and I'm expecting a tough game.
At this level, games are decided by slim margins. We will have to be compact and organised to stop them playing. I know one of their best players and captain, Xabi Prieto is injured, but they have 11 other good players. We play Bayern in the Bundesliga this Saturday but we are 100% focused on Sociedad.
Saturday: Leverkusen 2-0 Hannover 96 (Rolfes 23, Sam 37)
Leno; Hilbert, Ömer Toprak, Spahić, Boenisch; Bender (Emre Can 46), Reinartz, Rolfes; Sam (Öztunali 88), Kiessling, Son (Kruse 83).
• Third-placed Leverkusen recorded their sixth top-flight win in seven matches, their best start to a Bundesliga campaign in 30 years.
Germany midfielder Lars Bender faces a late fitness test, while defender Jens Hegeler and winger Gonzalo Castro are both expected to be fit after taking part in training.
Jagoba Arrasate, coach
Leverkusen are at home, they are usually very strong here as we have seen in the Bundesliga, and they need to win after losing their first game in the Champions League. But we also need three points and if we play well we could win here.
If we don't win it would not be the end of our hopes – we have four more matches – but we want to win here to be more sure of ourselves in the coming games. Yes, they are a typically German team, they have many tall and athletic players, but we are playing football, not basketball, and we know how to play against them. If we can do this, we will bring three points home and this is our aim.
Saturday: La Real 1-1 Sevilla FC (Samperio 18; Griezmann 66)
Bravo; Carlos Martínez, Mikel González, Iñigo Martínez, José Ángel; Vela, Markel Bergara, Rubén Pardo (Zurutuza 85), Griezmann, Castro (Seferovic 64); Agirretxe.
• Real – who have won just once in seven Liga outings this term – have dropped to 13th place in the standings. Arrasate's men have now failed to win in their last six games in all competitions.
Midfielders Prieto (thigh tear) and Esteban Granero (knee) skip the trip to Germany while defender Dani Estrada (foot) also misses out. Arrasate said of his two doubts: "Gorka Elustondo and David Zurutuza will take part in training today, so we hope we can use them tomorrow."
• Leverkusen's most famous European nights have come against Spanish sides. They lost the 2002 UEFA Champions League final 2-1 to Real Madrid CF in Glasgow, but beat RCD Espanyol in a dramatic two-legged UEFA Cup decider in 1988. After a 3-0 first-leg loss, Erich Ribbeck's Leverkusen won the return by the same score before prevailing 3-2 on penalties.