The official website for European football

Schaaf eager to halt rise of Nacional

Published: Thursday 3 December 2009, 8.15CET
Werder Bremen can seal top spot in Group L against CD Nacional but despite boasting a 21-game unbeaten run, Thomas Schaaf is wary of visitors who have "evolved" since the sides' last meeting.
by Steffen Potter
from Bremen
Schaaf eager to halt rise of Nacional
Bremen head coach Thomas Schaaf is keen for his charges to keep their focus ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BremenNacional

Goals scored26
 
11
Attempts on target137
 
46
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners51
 
24
Offsides32
 
19
Fouls committed150
 
110
Yellow cards24
 
15
Red cards1
 
1

Media Services

Standings

SSI Err
 
Published: Thursday 3 December 2009, 8.15CET

Schaaf eager to halt rise of Nacional

Werder Bremen can seal top spot in Group L against CD Nacional but despite boasting a 21-game unbeaten run, Thomas Schaaf is wary of visitors who have "evolved" since the sides' last meeting.

Werder Bremen can sew up top spot in Group L against CD Nacional, but despite boasting a 21-game unbeaten run and an unblemished home record in Europe this season, coach Thomas Schaaf is wary of visitors who have "evolved" since their last meeting.

Focus
Schaaf has already guided Bremen to the last 32 with two games to spare and is keen to maintain the momentum which has also lifted the club to second in the Bundesliga. "Preparations for this match are the same as for any other as we're facing strong opponents," he said, pledging that his already-qualified side would be fully focused. "We want to play our own game, dominate the match and deny the opposition as much as possible."

Nacional 'evolution'
The German club overcame Nacional on Matchday 1 with a 3-2 win in Funchal. Nothing less than victory will keep the Portuguese club's hopes of progression alive and Schaaf is cautious of a side he feels has improved since September. "They will try to play it tight at the back and hit us on the counterattack," he predicted. "They will try everything to win – after all, it's their last chance. Nacional have evolved since the first match, they have several young players who have come on, which is documented by their improvement in the Portuguese Liga."

Almeida aim
Bremen have not lost in any competition since 8 August and victory over Nacional will seal first place in the section should Athletic Club fail to overcome FK Austria Wien in the group's other game. Hugo Almeida, for one, is relishing the chance to take on a team from his homeland, but is equally interested in maintaining Bremen's excellent form. "It's always special to play against a Portuguese side," the 25-year-old said, "but that's not what it is about now. It would be nice if a team from Portugal made it through, but at Werder we want to win every game."

Nacional hope
Nacional assistant coach José Augusto will lead the Madeira side in the absence of Manuel Machado, who is in hospital following an operation on Friday. Augusto says his team have not lost hope in Group L. "The first game [against Werder] showed we are no pushovers. If this team had a little bit more experience it could have been a different result. We will try to focus on our game first and then see what is possible."

Last updated: 03/12/09 19.12CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000037/match=2000882/prematch/focus/index.html#schaaf+eager+halt+rise+nacional

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE word, the UEFA Europa League logo and the UEFA Europa League trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.