Football is back! This Sunday, 17 May, SV Wehen Wiesbaden will make their return to Bundesliga 2 action when they host VfB Stuttgart. Kick-off in the BRITA-Arena is scheduled for 13:30 CET. Here we've put together all the essential quotes from SVWW head coach Rüdiger Rehm's pre-match press conference as well as all the additional info you need ahead of Matchday 26.
Personnel matters: ''Our squad situation was excellent in the weeks and months leading up to the hiatus,'' said head coach Rüdiger Rehm when asked about the personnel at his disposal. The one absentee is Patrick Schönfeld, who is recovering from an appendix operation. That aside, Rehm has a full complement of players to choose from on Sunday.
Scenario: A total of 72 days separate SVWW's last match away to VfL Osnabrück on March 6 and their return to action on Sunday. ''We've made the most of the past few weeks to try to prepare the team for the big day. The lads are in great shape,'' said Rehm, going on to add: ''We've been able to work on everything you need to play football. Direct physical contact was off the cards for a long time, but the players have been able to get back in the swing of things no problem.''
Outlook: The return of play will bring many changes, with the DFL Task Force's hygiene plan set to dictate every aspect of matchday operations. To give just a few examples: every SVWW player will travel to the stadium individually in private cars, coaches and substitutes will wear face masks on the sidelines, while the stands of the BRITA-Arena will be completely empty. ''We've been given instructions, and we will of course be respecting them,'' said the Red & Blacks head coach, who was keen to focus on events on the pitch: ''The only thing we'll be concentrating on is the game, just as we did in the last one we played. We want to win and improve our position in the league table.''
The opposition: VfB have only lost once in 2020 under new coach Pellegrino Matarazzo - a 2-0 defeat away to Greuther Fürth. This run of good form has seen the Swabians climb to second in the table behind Arminia Bielefeld. ''We're going up against a formidable opponent on Sunday. We're going to get up in their faces and make sure they don't have an easy time of it,'' said Rehm as he discussed the visitors from Stuttgart. The SVWW coach doesn't believe that VfB will have made many changes to their winning formula over the past few weeks: ''There are two, maybe three, ways I expect them to line up. We have to be prepared for these possibilities.''
Here's how you can follow the match: We will keep you up to date via our social media channels. There will be a live ticker on our Twitter account. (https://twitter.com/SVWW_official). Photos will be posted both during and after the match. You'll be able to watch the coaches' post-match interviews on our YouTube channel as well as read the players' reactions on the website. The matchday programme SVWWELT is not available in physical form, but it is being released digitally via https://svww.de/media. If you're in Germany, you can catch SVWW live in action on free-to-air TV: the match against Stuttgart will be featured in Sky Sport News HD's Bundesliga broadcast on Sunday.
Substitutions: At its Extraordinary Assembly on Thursday, the DFL decided that, for the remainder of the season, teams will be able to make five substitutions per match. Each club will have a total of three opportunities to substitute players during a game, including the half-time break.
Man of the Match: As always, you have the opportunity to vote for your Man of the Match. Simply cast your vote in the Match Center on the SVWW website anytime between kick-off and midnight on the day of the game and win a shirt signed by the Man of the Match!