Florian Karadeja can still remember the first leg against Weinheim very well. “It was hard to break,” he says of the opponent, who will face VfB Eppingen again on Saturday (3pm), this time away from home. Kraichgauer’s performance in the happy 1-1 draw against TSG in the first home game of the Verbandsliga season prompted VfB’s vice captain to once again ask himself and his teammates to explain something that was actually the norm. “We play the way we train,” Karadeja told the team in the circle after the match.
The message got through, the Eppingers did their homework for the week, FC Zuzenhausen finished 4-1 in the derby in the next game – and they started flying high, taking David Pfeiffer’s side up to fourth in the table and thus in the areas where things get really interesting and interesting. In this respect, the 0:1 score in their first home game of the year against Waldhof-Mannheim II was a setback, although two of the three contenders at the top also fell behind on points. “But we can’t afford too many mistakes,” Pfeiffer said after the 0-1 draw against Mannheim.
Ergo: Eppingen has to deliver in Weinheim. “We need a threesome,” says Kradija, delighted that the team did their homework this time. “We trained well and intensively,” said the 30-year-old, who will replace Alex Rudenko, who is still suspended. The key is to bring quality, VfB PS, to the field. This is only possible as a unit. “We may not be the best compared to the others, but if we play as a team we can beat anyone.”
Also Weinheim. Although, Eppingen does not necessarily associate the best memories with the opponent. The first thing that happens to both Pfeiffer and Kradija about TSG, apart from each other, is that they always look lousy on TSG’s artificial turf. “I remember 0:3 two years ago: we didn’t get anything done there,” the right-back said. He can do without deja vu on Saturday.
Clear structure in the game and in construction becomes important
Of course, it cannot be completely avoided. “We’re playing on artificial turf again,” says the coach, who instructed his sporting director, Oliver Spatt this week, to obtain the relevant information. Since the pitch is as small as the one at Eppingen, the VfB coach expects the game to be a lot more lively again. “It tends to have more ball losses on a small ground, which is why it swings back and forth so often.” It is very important to have a clear structure in the game and in the structure.
In this regard, VfB still had holes in the 0-1 draw against Mannheim, despite the good performance. Pfeiffer complained that his team was not active enough for a big team, especially in the match. When attacking, VfB advanced little or no movement, was unable to establish itself in the lead, and was unable to form a majority. It will be difficult to create opportunities. His team showed this behavior already in the first half of the season against Weinheim and in the end he was only lucky with a point. Outnumbered, Arber Mrijaj equalized late to make it 1-1 – but Weinheimer should have closed the sack much earlier.
You know Kradija and Co. At least what to expect in Weinheim. “They usually stand deep and wait for mistakes and are strong in duels,” says the 30-year-old. Like his coach, he wants a convincing victory. Pfeiffer says next week’s derby is not a problem yet. “We have to find our way first.”
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