On the day prior to the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash with Atletico Madrid, sporting director Sebastian Kehl shared his thoughts on the opposition, the approach and the personnel situation. 

Sebastian Kehl on the emotions going into the game:
"There is certainly a buzz. We're flying to Madrid full of excitement. We've worked hard to get here and we go into the game full of optimism. We know that we're in for a really tough test against a very good, experienced and defensively-strong team. But we have big aspirations and want to be standing in the next round after the two games. That would be a fantastic success."

…the Estadio Metropolitano:
"We know what to expect there: a very heated and intense atmosphere, a coach who will deliver a push from the sidelines, a team who stay compact and defend with unbelievable toughness and intensity, fans who will turn the place into a cauldron."  

...the approach:
"We're focused in the things we're discussing with the team. It will come down to sticking to the game plan, not becoming too wild. These will be important attributes. We'll nonetheless have to be able to resist and hold firm against them, we'll have to make a lot of tackles, we'll have to be robust and stand up strong, otherwise we won't be able to get the job done out there."

…Atletico Madrid:
"A team that are incredibly strong at home and have conceded few goals in recent weeks, but they still have their problems. They are fighting for a Champions League place in La Liga like we are and perhaps are not as stable as in years gone by. That's why Atletico have a big opportunity in their home game. We're prepared for that. We'll have to find ways to get in behind their backline and use our pace to create danger in transition. We have to be ready. They score a lot of goals and didn't knock out Inter Milan for nothing."

…former BVB player Axel Witsel, who plays as a central defender:
"Atletico usually play with five at the back, with Axel occupying the central role. His composure, ability, not to mention his strength in the tackle makes him an important stabilising force. I'm very happy to see that he's successfully found a role for himself in Madrid. We'll all share an embrace tomorrow, but I know how ambitious he is and how professionally he goes about his work. He will give everything for his team."

…Donyell Malen:
"Unfortunately he hasn't been able to make it. He wasn't available to us at the weekend and has also picked up a bug. It's a shame, but everyone else is on board."

Transcribed by Christina Reinke