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Leipzig planning limited-contact goal celebrations, says Nagelsmann


Berlin (AFP) – Julian Nagelsmann says his RB Leipzig squad is working on specially-modified goal celebrations that comply with the strict hygiene guidelines for the restart of the Bundesliga this weekend.

Third-placed Leipzig host Freiburg behind closed doors when the Bundesliga resumes on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic, five points behind leaders Bayern Munich ahead of the weekend’s matches.

In order for the league to resume, the German Football League (DFL) has drawn up a strict list of hygiene measures, with the DFL reportedly urging players to refrain from contact at all times, even recommending they tap elbows or feet instead of hugging to celebrate scoring goals.

“I’m not one to jump into group celebrations anyway, I tend to act alone,” said Nagelsmann.

“The players have certainly thought of something, but we have to score a goal first.”

Key to that task will be Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who has scored 21 league goals this season, while fellow forwards Marcel Sabitzer and Patrik Schick should be available after shaking off knocks.

With fans locked out Nagelsmann, who is known for outbursts on the sidelines, said he will have to watch his language with no crowd noise to mask any swearing.

“I will have to talk to myself again and try to behave in a socially acceptable way in the (coaching) zone,” he said with a wink.

Nagelsmann says he does not expect crazy scorelines this weekend as players struggle to regain match fitness lost during the two-month break.

“If you haven’t played for a long time and have no rhythm, then you’re more likely to stand back and try to prevent goals,” said Nagelsmann.

“That’s the normal way of things in football.”

However, Eintracht Frankfurt director Fredi Bobic has said he expects “strange results” and joked about his team drawing “5-5” with Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday. 

“If things turn out differently and Fredi Bobic is right, then I’ll be happy,” added Nagelsmann.

“If many games go 5-5, it’s good for television viewers too.”

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