Nagelsmann: We’ve come up with a very brave plan for Man City

Joe Williams
Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann is looking forward to measuring himself against Pep Guardiola as his side host Manchester City in the Champions League.

Nagelsmann, 31, is rated as one of the best up-and-coming managers in the German game and has already agreed to take over at RB Leipzig next season after impressing in his two and a half years at Hoffenheim.

Appointed at the age of just 28 in 2016, Nagelsmann guided the club to fourth in the Bundesliga in 2017 and third last season, taking them into the Champions League for the first time.

Now he faces City’s much-decorated former Bayern Munich boss Guardiola for the first time in a Group F clash at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Nagelsmann told reporters: “I play against Pep Guardiola for the first time and, from his professional career, he is a good point of reference.

“I’m really looking forward to our first Champions League game at home. Until now I’ve been feeling fairly normal and we’ve been concentrating on training but, as of tonight, there’ll certainly be plenty of excitement.”

Hoffenheim claimed a creditable draw at Shakhtar Donetsk in their group opener while City suffered a surprise home loss to Lyon.

Nagelsmann expects City to be extra determined but is keen to take the game to them rather than play out a cagey, tactical battle.

Nagelsmann said: “Man City expect to win the game and I’m expecting them to focus on their strengths, but we’ve come up with a very brave plan.

“There will not be a battle of tactics. Our main strength is our style of play and everyone who takes the field for us will be brave in possession. We will look forward with anticipation and courage.”