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During the international press conference in the build-up to the upcoming UEFA Champions League match, not a single question was asked about the Black & Yellows' opponents on the night - Slavia Prague. Head Coach Lucien Favre therefore took it upon himself to do a spot of journalism...
''There's been lots of talk about Barca, lots of talk about Inter, but no-one has talked about Slavia. They're a very good side. They drew 0-0 in Barcelona and 1-1 in Milan. They can run all day long - 132 kilometres in a single match is almost a world record. They're really strong in the tackle and like to press high up the park. It will be a very interesting match,'' said Favre. ''Anything can happen,'' in the battle for second place with Inter, but first ''we have to do all we can to get a win. We have to concentrate on our game. Then we can start thinking about what's going on in Milan.''
Defensive stalwart Mats Hummels is set to make his return to the starting line-up. The recent injury suffered by Axel Witsel will force changes to the midfield system which has worked so well of late. ''Unfortunately he's out for the rest of the year,'' said Favre when asked about the Belgian, who suffered an unfortunate accident at home which has left him with a facial injury. ''The good news is that he's already at home recovering,'' said the head coach, going on to add: ''There's nothing we can do about it. It's a shame for him, and it's a shame for us. He's an extremely important player for the team. We hope that he's back in action as soon as possible.''
It appears unlikely that Favre will opt to move away from the 3-4-3 formation which has been so successful in the last two matches. Julian Weigl is poised to fill in for Witsel in the starting XI. The team will be determined to secure a win in front of the home fans which may be enough to secure a place in the next round of the competition. ''We're certainly going into it with a lot of hope,'' said Roman Bürki: ''But we also know that all we can do is play our game and get the win. Unfortunately we don't have our fate in our own hands...'' (br)