Freiburg - Borussia Dortmund Preview: Visitors looking to close the gap
Last Saturday's loss to Schalke saw Borussia Dortmund fall 12 points behind league leaders Bayern Munich, but Jurgen Klopp's side can put pressure on the Bavarians
By Enis Koylu
Mujdza, Ginter, Diagne, Sorg
Schmid, Schuster, Makiadi, Caligiuri
Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Perisic, Reus, Grosskreutz
Freiburg boss Christian Streich has the luxury of a near full squad from which to pick his team for the visit of the Champions on Saturday. Max Kruse missed out on last week's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg through injury, while Karim Guede was suspended.
Both are available again, with the former set to replace Sebastian Freis to partner Erik Jendrisek up front on Saturday. Matthias Ginter and Oliver Sorg are both doubts, but should be available to take up their usual stations in defence.
The only confirmed absence is Jan Rosenthal, who is undergoing rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund are expected to make two changes from the side that beat Real Madrid 2-1 on Wednesday.
Sven Bender and Sebastian Kehl occupied the deep-lying midfield positions at Signal Iduna Park, but the former picked up a slight injury, and could be replaced by Ilkay Gundogan, while Mario Gotze has been lacking fitness of late, and is likely to miss out, with Ivan Perisic taking his place.
Elsewhere, the only major injury is to Jakub 'Kuba' Blaszczykowski, who has a knee injury and will be out for some time, though Patrick Owomoyela is still unfit and is yet to make an appearance this season.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Freiburg have beaten Borussia Dortmund just once in the last 10 years - a 3-1 victory at the Mage Solar Stadion on the final day of the 2009-10 season. What's more, they've recorded just three league victories over Saturday's opponents in their history.
- The Baden-Wurttemberg outfit have won three games this season, the same number as Saturday's opponents, but sit three places behind BVB.
- Freiburg finished in third place, just three points behind Borussia Dortmund in 1994-95, their second season in the Bundesliga.
- Borussia Dortmund sealed a record points tally for a single Bundesliga season with a 4-0 triumph over Freiburg at home on the last day of 2011-12. Robert Lewandowski (pictured, right) and Kuba grabbed two goals apiece.
- However, the champions are yet to win an away match this season, with all three of their Bundesliga victories coming at Signal Iduna Park.
- Furthermore, BVB are yet to win on a weekend following a Champions League game this season, having lost to Hamburg after matchday 1, and drawn with Hannover after matchday 2.
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Top 3 Predictions
SC Freiburg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 16.33 %
SC Freiburg 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
- 14.87 %
SC Freiburg 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
- 14.58 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 28, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 5 - SC Freiburg 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Mar 16, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 5 - SC Freiburg 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Oct 27, 2012||SC Freiburg 0 - Borussia Dortmund 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||May 5, 2012||Borussia Dortmund 4 - SC Freiburg 0|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Dec 17, 2011||SC Freiburg 1 - Borussia Dortmund 4|
|Dec 8, 2013||SC Freiburg 0 - VfL Wolfsburg 3||GER1|
|Dec 4, 2013||SC Freiburg 1 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2||GERC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - SC Freiburg 0||GER1|
|Nov 28, 2013||FC Slovan Liberec 1 - SC Freiburg 2||EL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Eintracht Braunschweig 0 - SC Freiburg 1||GER1|
|6||Vegar Eggen Hedenstad||Defender|
Having broken into the first team under Christian Streich last season, the 18-year-old defender certainly looks to be a permanent fixture for his side now. He has been an ever-present this season, and will need to keep up his excellent Bundesliga form in order to help keep out the potent Dortmund attack of Reus and Lewandowski.
After a sluggish start to the season, the Polish striker finally looks to be showcasing the form that made him one of Europe's most wanted strikers last term, scoring against Schalke last week and breaking the deadlock at Madrid. Freiburg's defence is a stern one, and his physicality and finishing will be required by the hosts on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund may have a poor record away from Signal Iduna Park this season and have generally struggled following Champions League fixtures, but there's no doubt that they will be riding on a high after their famous victory over Real Madrid in midweek. Freiburg have been in decent form of late, but I'd expect the visitors to grind out a much-needed win.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed