Defender Clemens Fritz is confident Werder Bremen have what it takes to beat S.S. Lazio in Rome tonight and take a big step towards the first knockout round.
Defender Clemens Fritz is confident Werder Bremen have what it takes to beat S.S. Lazio in Rome on Tuesday and take a big step towards the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.
Having spent a month sidelined by a groin injury earlier in the season, German international Fritz has been able to contribute to Bremen's recovery from a shaky start to the campaign – including opening Group C losses to Real Madrid CF and Oympiacos CFP.
'Excited to be playing'
"It's never nice to be out, especially as it was mainly a muscular problem, but I feel good and I'm excited to be back playing," said the right-back, who is expected to get the nod for the crucial encounter. "We've had so many injuries this year that we've had to field a new side in almost every match, but we've proved our squad and our mental strength and now we're in top form. We are full of confidence."
Unbeaten in seven Bundesliga matches, Bremen went third in the table with Saturday's win against FC Hansa Rostock, and after they defeated Lazio 2-1 on Matchday 3, Fritz hopes to continue the run of positive results. "A draw is not what we are looking for," the 26-year-old said. "There will always be pressure but our goal is to win and to get through to the next stage as quickly as possible."
Having played 90 minutes of the sides' Weserstadion showdown, the former Bayer 04 Leverkusen player knows the Italian team will pose a threat despite their bottom ranking in Group C. "We know what the dangers are and we have a lot of respect for them," added Fritz. "The Champions League is a different competition from the league and we'll have to be careful as it's possibly their last chance to qualify."