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  3. Heading north in search of points

Heading north in search of points

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Both teams have solid seasons behind them so far, with Werder having picked up enough points to reasonably distance themselves from the relegation battle. They currently sit in 11th place with 27 points, comfortably clear of the bottom three.

SC, meanwhile, have dealt well with the added workload that comes with competing in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Europa League, and remain on track to qualify for Europe once again. The final weeks of the season will be crucial in determining where the team end the season. “We have achieved the maximum possible for us at the moment. We’re very satisfied with how things have gone so far, but are still ambitious enough to say that we’re heading to Bremen looking to win again,” said Christian Streich.

The team have reason to be optimistic heading into the game, as they are coming off two solid performances against FC Bayern München in a matter of just a few days. After beating the record champions 2-1 at home in order to advance to the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal, Freiburg then suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at home. “The team left it all out on the pitch in both games,” Streich commented.

Ahead of this weekend’s game, questions remained about which formation Streich and his staff will go with. SC lined up with a back-four against Bayern, a formation that the team frequently used in the first half of the season. “We have tried out a few different formations this season. We’ve analysed Bremen and how their opponents have played against them. We now have some options to consider. These will also depend on which players we have available to us this weekend,” Streich said.

Despite a recent downward turn in Werder’s form – two draws and three defeats from their last five games – Streich is still expecting it to be a close game. “They played well against Leverkusen and only narrowly lost 3-2. They have the quality needed to come back after going behind and are very variable. They will pose a tough tactical challenge for us,” Streich said on the hosts.

On Sunday, the team will need to find “good solutions” after winning the ball and “posing problems” for their opponents when in possession. Manuel Gulde will not be able to play this weekend, having been taken off with an injury against Bayern. Michael Gregoritsch (knock) is also a doubt.

Around 1,700 fans are expected to travel to Bremen on Sunday. There will be no box office at the stadium on matchday, but those interested in attending will be able to purchase tickets online via the host’s website until 90 minutes before kick-off.  

Photo: Achim Keller

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Heading north in search of points

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