“Hard work and graft” are terms that are often associated with the two main clubs from the Ruhr region, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04. Christian Streich, however, used these very terms in reference to his own team: “For us, it’s going to be a matter of hard work and graft on Saturday.”
The SC coach also highlighted other factors that could be of importance in the home game against Bundesliga runners-up Dortmund during the press conference on Thursday, such as “being alert individually” and “working well as a team”. The sides that BVB have played so far this season (Köln, Bochum and most recently Heidenheim) have set a good example. “Of course, we have seen a few things in their games that we think that we can use,” stated Streich. “Only getting a draw at home against a newly-promoted side is obviously an extremely unsatisfactory result for Dortmund.”
Adamu could feature in the matchday squad
In addition to Christian Günter, Daniel-Kofi Kyereh and Max Rosenfelder, who are all recovering from long-term injuries, Benjamin Uphoff (muscle strain) and Yannik Keitel (adductor problems) will also miss the game against Dortmund. However, Junior Adamu could be in the squad for his first competitive match having played 90 minutes in the 1-0 win in the friendly against Karlsruher SC. “He worked well off the ball against Karlsruhe and put in a good shift. You can see that he’s a bit out of the swing of things – he was out injured for quite a long time. However, it’s likely that he’ll be in the squad,” said Streich.
His Austrian compatriot and strike partner Michael Gregoritsch is still waiting for his first goal in a competitive game in the 2023/24 season, but he did score in both of his games for the Austrian national team, which pleased Streich: “I’m happy that he’s found his goalscoring boots – it will do both him and the team good. He has missed two or three chances in recent games, so it’s great that he scored two goals for his country.”
The coaching staff at Freiburg are not just spoilt for choice up front on Saturday: “We are undecided on a few positions,” commented Streich. There are several candidates who could play at left-back, but Jordy Makengo is “still not fit enough” to start in the Bundesliga as he continues to work his way back from a fractured cheekbone.
A mixed record against BVB
SC’s overall record against BVB in the Bundesliga is a little sobering (W5, D11, L30). Dortmund also won the last meeting at the Europa-Park Stadion 3-1 in August 2022, despite Freiburg being in front for the majority of game.
However, there are two statistics that can provide some encouragement for SCF. Last season’s 3-1 loss was the last time that Freiburg conceded more than one goal at home, and SC have only lost once and won two out of the five games at home against Dortmund before last year’s match.
Photo: Achim Keller