Vincenzo Grifo slotted the ball past Florian Müller in VfB’s goal after 11 minutes in Freiburg’s 1-0 win in Stuttgart on the third matchday last season. The same scenario isn’t going to arise this Saturday. Müller is now once again on Freiburg’s books and is enjoying a dream start to the season with his new team whom he previously represented whilst on loan. SC Freiburg have only previously begun the Bundesliga season with two consecutive victories once – in 2019/20 – although they then went on to lose the third game 2-1 against 1. FC Köln four years ago.
The recent head-to-head record between SC Freiburg and VfB Stuttgart, which is taking place on the third matchday of the season for the third time on the trot, is clearly in favour of the former. SC Freiburg hardly picked up any points against VfB for a number of years, although the last six Bundesliga meetings between these two sides have all been won by SC – however only one of those has been decided by a margin greater than one. Christian Streich also expects a “very close game” on Saturday, as he explained during Thursday’s press conference.
Travelling to Stuttgart with Höler
Lucas Höler had to be replaced after 84 minutes against Werder, however he will be available for the game at the MHP-Arena. Junior Adamu has also made positive steps forward in the last few days. “It may well be that he plays for the reserve team for the first time for SC so that he’s able to get as much playing time as possible,” SC head coach Streich said.
There has been a focus on chance conversion for the attacking players during the last couple of weeks of training at Achim-Stocker-Straße after SC Freiburg failed to make the most of a few good chances in Sinsheim as well as against Werder. “What can you do? It is always calm when you take shots in training – you always have a brief moment when you can take shots in peaceful conditions,” Streich said. “However, it’s important that we are creating goalscoring opportunities in the first place.”
Local clash against a versatile opponent
The team will be accompanied by more than 4,700 Freiburg fans, with the away end being completely sold out. SC head coach Streich is expecting a special atmosphere. “There are always games between local rivals and they tend to be heated clashes – you always have to remember that we are just neighbours. They aren’t idiots and neither are we.”
He demands that his side is especially alert from the very beginning. “VfB are very versatile in terms of their tactics, they shift things around and sometimes play with a back four and at other times with a back three,” Streich explained on Thursday. With regard to his thoughts on the opposition, he came to the following conclusion: “We need to play well if we want to win in Stuttgart.”
Photo: Achim Keller