UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Bremen bank on attacking arsenal

Fresh from watching his team run in eight goals at the weekend, Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf has promised more excitement against Olympiacos CFP.

Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf
Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf ©Getty Images

Fresh from watching his team run in eight goals at the weekend, Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf has promised another attacking performance when his charges attempt to kick-start their UEFA Champions League Group C campaign at home to Olympiacos CFP.

Home comforts
A 2-1 loss at Real Madrid CF on Matchday 1 has raised the stakes for the German side, but Saturday's 8-1 home victory over DSC Arminia Bielefeld boosted confidence no end. It was Bremen's biggest win in 24 years and brings their tally to 12 goals in their last two outings at the Weserstadion. "It's important for us not to be passive," Schaaf said. "If we let Olympiacos get forward then a player like Luciano Galletti is capable of causing us a lot of damage. The best way to stop that happening is by going at them ourselves."

Injury situation
The weekend goal fest did not come without a cost. Already bordering on the epic, the club's injury troubles took a turn for the worse when goalkeeper Tim Wiese and in-form striker Boubacar Sanogo collected knocks. Wiese is "definitely out", meaning a competition debut for Christian Vander, while a decision will be taken on Sanogo on Wednesday morning. On the positive side, Clemens Fritz returned on Saturday and will line up in midfield, possibly alongside Torsten Frings and Tim Borowski who are pushing for places after long lay-offs.

Diego role
In a further scare, Diego missed training on Monday with a thigh problem, but he is ready to lead the orchestra once again after setting up three goals and scoring one against Arminia. "He brings out the best in the whole team and he's been excellent," said Schaaf, no doubt delighted the Brazilian playmaker recently signed a contract extension until 2011. "This is the right environment for him to shine. He's happy here and we're delighted with him."

Height factor
Olympiacos are unlikely to be quite so pleased to come across the diminutive magician, but their coach Panagiotis Lemonis believes Bremen have several players to fear. "Diego's a key man but they're strong in all positions and have a lot of height in their team, combined with some good crossers on the flanks," he said. With that in mind, Júlio Cézar should be restored to central defence, with Lemonis banking on the Brazilian's aerial prowess. He takes over from Raúl Bravo, who started Saturday's 1-1 draw at Aris Thessaloniki FC, while fellow defender Michał Żewłakow is sidelined by a virus.

Poor travellers
The real concern for the Piraeus outfit is their away form at this level: they have failed to win in 31 attempts. Having been held 1-1 at home by S.S. Lazio in their opening fixture, the Greek champions need something from this game and they will enjoy substantial support with fans having bought up their entire ticket allocation. Lemonis will put his faith in Galletti's guile and Lomana LuaLua's pace, with the DR Congo forward either foraging down the left or operating as lone frontrunner. "If we do score first, I'll tell my players to get the referee to stop the game," Lemonis smiled.