The double gameweek offers SC a quick opportunity to get back on track following a heavy 6-0 defeat to VfL Wolfsburg last Saturday. The next challenge, however, is almost as difficult as it could be. Frankfurt sit second in the league and are brimming with confidence having moved up the table following a 3-0 win against FC Schalke 04.
Christian Streich summarised the game from a Freiburg perspective now some time had passed in his press conference on Tuesday: “We were often just slightly too late. Wolfsburg were quicker and always there earlier, and then obviously the game developed in a way that doesn’t happen with every game.” It is now important to the SC head coach and his coaching team, “that the boys keep their heads clear.” He also stated that there is no need for everything to be questioned on the basis of one game.
Lienhart returns to the starting eleven
“In all likelihood”, SC will be without Roland Sallai for the sold-out game under the lights at the Europa Park Stadium. However, Vincenzo Grifo, who missed the game against Wolfsburg through illness, could make his return. “We will have to wait and will see on the night,” said Streich. “He trained individually today. If he has a good night then he will be in the squad.”
The SC trainer confirmed that there will definitely be one change to the Freiburg starting eleven, with Philipp Lienhart, who until recently had been affected by muscular problems and was subbed on after 57 minutes against Wolfsburg, returning to the starting eleven against Frankfurt. The system the team will be playing still remains unconfirmed. “We can play all systems. We will definitely not sit back in any case, we will never do that,” said Streich, before continuing: “It is not the system that wins you games, it is the way you play.”
Cool heads against SGE
Frankfurt currently have the second best attack in the league and have scored in all of their last seven Bundesliga games. Head coach Oliver Glasner has some exceptional individual players in his ranks, as his opposite number Streich described: “Götze is a footballer who plays totally on instinct, who can read situations and knows where the space is. Lindström has brilliant agility behind Kolo Muani, who is physically very dominant.”
SC’s centre-backs will have a lot asked of them against Muani, who has the most goal contributions in the league (five goals, twelve assists). All in all, concentration will play a big role in the clash between fourth and second. According to Christian Streich, there is one thing in particular that definitely needs to be avoided: “We can’t get carried away and run into situations like a headless chicken.” Despite that, Frieburg want to go into the game tomorrow with a lot of energy and conviction, and with the help of their home crowd will do their best to forget their bad start to the Bundesliga in 2023 as quickly as possible.
Photo: Achim Keller