Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Christoph Kramer praised the “extraordinary” Miroslav Klose, but hopes his team can keep the Lazio striker quiet.
The Bundesliga outfit head to the Stadio Olimpico for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off on Tuesday.
Kramer backed his team to deal with the threat of 37-year-old Klose, Germany’s all-time leading goalscorer with 71 goals.
“All of us know the quality that Miroslav Klose has got, but we don’t have to be afraid. We’ve got many talented players as well,” he said.
“We know that he’s dangerous and can score many goals regardless of his age. He’s an extraordinary striker so we are warned by his qualities.
“However we’ve got very good centre-backs to defend him. I wish that he plays but for once I don’t wish him to score for two games.”
Tuesday’s clash will be just Lazio’s second competitive game of the season, having lost to Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana.
Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt is wary of the threat the Serie A giants will pose his team.
“I think they are a team which doesn’t just have individual quality even though they have extraordinary players,” he said.
“Their main strength is that they perform as a team. They have a good awareness when off the ball and also while having possession.
“They are very good on the counter-attack because their three strikers are very fast – Miroslav Klose and the two on the wings as well.
“So I think that Lazio are a very good team with a clear style which makes the challenge so difficult for us.”
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