Andrej Kramaric believes Hoffenheim can pull off a “miracle” Champions League win at Manchester City.
The German side face the Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday needing a victory to have any hope of prolonging their European campaign.
After collecting just three points in Group F, Hoffenheim cannot progress to the last 16 but victory combined with a Shakhtar Donetsk loss to Lyon would net them a Europa League consolation spot.
Croatia striker Kramaric, who has scored in his last eight games for club and country, said: “We are still hoping. This would not be the first time we have seen miracles in football. We believe in ourselves.
“We are playing against one of the best teams in the world with some of the best players in the world but everything is possible.”
Kramaric, 27, is in his third full season with Hoffenheim after initially joining them on loan from Leicester midway the Foxes’ Premier League-winning campaign of 2015-16.
Kramaric admits he regrets not establishing himself at Leicester.
He said: “It was a magical story with Leicester. It is one moment I regret.
“But it was my first escape from home. I was young, without experience. I didn’t expect what was in front of me.
“But I don’t regret the way of my career because, right now, I am happy at Hoffenheim and enjoying being here.”
The match could allow English youngster Reiss Nelson, on loan with Hoffenheim from Arsenal, to get some game time in front of a home audience.
The 19-year-old has caught the eye, scoring six goals this term, although he has made only four starts in the Bundesliga.
Coach Julian Nagelsmann said: “He has done a good job for his, which is also good for his parent club.
“He’s very talented, good on one on ones. He’s still got to learn and he has to maintain his levels but he’s played a lot and will get time in the second half of the season.”
Nagelsmann, 31, is rated as one of Europe’s brightest young coaches and is joining Leipzig next season. He also is hopeful of victory.
He said: “Even as an optimist you’d say it was difficult. We have to be on top of our game.
“But we don’t have a huge amount to lose. We can enjoy the game. Perhaps we can relax and play the football that got us to the Champions League.”