Thomas Schaaf is hoping for a "special night" as SV Werder Bremen open their Group A campaign at home to a Tottenham Hotspur FC side who expect to take a cautious approach.
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SV Werder Bremen are back in the UEFA Champions League after a year's absence and coach Thomas Schaaf hopes there will be a "special night" at the Weserstadion when group-stage debutants Tottenham Hotspur FC visit in Group A on Tuesday. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is expected to abandon his favoured 4-4-2 formation for a more cautious approach but nonetheless stated: "We want to win every match."
Thomas Schaaf, Bremen coach
Of course we played very well in [drawing 0-0 at FC Bayern München on Saturday] but we have to improve some things. For example, we did not score there and so there is room for improvement. After a year away we start tomorrow against a team from England and now we can compete with the best teams in Europe. We all are very happy. We have a very difficult group with attractive teams. We want to create special nights in the Champions League like we did in past seasons. Of course we are missing [Claudio] Pizarro, Naldo and [Per] Mertesacker but we have a high-quality squad and we proved it in Munich.
Redknapp is an excellent coach and he demonstrated it by getting his team through against Young Boys. Tottenham have a very good team and will be great opponents. I think we will see an interesting match tomorrow. We have to pay special attention to Peter Crouch, because of his height. And he can always score. But [Bremen defenders Petri] Pasanen and [Sebastian] Prödl also have great qualities.
Harry Redknapp, Tottenham manager
We want to win every match. [New signings Rafael] van der Vaart and [William] Gallas both played well in the last game, but they are both very tired now. So I have to see how well they recover and if they can play tomorrow. Of course [Luka] Modrić is very important for us and we are happy that he did not suffer a bad injury. But I won't let him play when he is not fit. I do not want to risk a more serious injury and lose him for weeks.
It is absolutely fantastic for this club to play in the Champions League. I am really looking forward to great games. But also we have to learn because we are not used to playing every three days. We have watched every Bremen game since the day of the draw. We know Bremen very well. We have to be very careful. I remember the match between Germany and England at the World Cup so we have to be very careful. Werder Bremen are very experienced in the Champions League but they are not the favourites. After Inter Milan the group is very balanced.
Mertesacker fractured his eye socket in Germany's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Azerbaijan on 7 September, Pizarro is suffering with a thigh injury while Naldo has yet to make an appearance this term due to a recurring knee problem.
Jermain Defoe (ankle) and Michael Dawson (knee) are definitely out, but fears Modrić had broken a leg when he hobbled off just past the half-hour at West Bromwich Albion FC on Saturday proved unfounded after a scan, and he could yet play. Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes missed that match with a groin injury and Carlo Cudicini will start at Bremen.
11/09/10 FC Bayern München 0-0 Bremen
Wesley and Mikaël Silvestre made their Bundesliga debuts against Bayern, in what was Bremen's first goalless draw in any competition this calendar year. Bremen were the first team to stop Bayern scoring in front of their home fans since FC Girondins de Bordeaux on 3 November 2009.
11/09/10 West Bromwich Albion FC 1-1 Tottenham
(Brunt 41; Modrić 27)
Tottenham won their first four league games last season but have collected only five points at the same stage in 2010/11. In the absence of captain Ledley King due to a persistent knee injury, Tom Huddlestone wore the armband, while Gallas and Van der Vaart made their debuts.
Did you know?
Spurs' only previous European Champion Clubs' Cup appearance was back in 1961/62 when they reached the semi-finals before losing to SL Benfica. Bremen, by contrast, are back in the group stage after just 12 months, their failure to qualify last term halting a sequence of five consecutive appearances.
See the match background for more information.