Niko Kovac has urged his players not to underestimate Heidenheim ahead of the Eagles’ DFB Cup last 16 clash with the second-tier outfit on Wednesday.

Head coach Niko Kovac on…

… personnel: “We’re in good shape. David Abraham missed our last game through injury, but he’s suspended anyway after his red card in the first round. The game comes too soon for Marco Fabian and Omar Mascarell probably won’t make it either. Other than that, everyone else is available. Makoto Hasebe also took part in training and could be involved against Heidenheim.”

… squad rotation: “We’re taking our opponents very seriously, as we did in the previous rounds of the cup. We won’t be taking any risks on Wednesday. As long as all my players are fit and healthy I’ll play my strongest team.”

… opponents Heidenheim and Marc Schnatterer’s key role within the team: “Marc Schnatterer is a very important player for them. He scores a lot of goals and also provides plenty of assists. He can’t win the game by himself, though - he needs his team-mates. Heidenheim have plenty of quality. They put a lot of emphasis on physicality, which is typical for a team in the second division. We’re also playing away from home, which is never easy when you’re up against a second-tier side in the cup. It won’t be an easy task.”

… Eintracht’s approach: “We’ll do all we can to go into the winter break with a positive result. Our Christmas celebrations will be even more enjoyable if we win, but our mentality will be key. That’s what it all comes down to. I assume my players know exactly what to expect. They don’t need any extra motivation. Everyone who was involved in last season’s final knows how enjoyable our journey was, and what a special day it was in Berlin. That motivation will rub off on those who weren’t with us [in May]. We’re all focused on achieving the same goal, and we want to make sure we achieve that. We will run ourselves into the ground at Heidenheim.”


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