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Bundesliga

  • March 3, 2012
  • • 14:30
  • • MAGE SOLAR Stadion, Freiburg im Breisgau
  • Referee: M. Fritz
  • • Attendance: 24000
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Freiburg - Schalke Preview: Title challengers look to keep up with pace-setters against relegation strugglers

Freiburg - Schalke Preview: Title challengers look to keep up with pace-setters against relegation strugglers

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Huub Stevens require three points to sustain their dying title challenge when they travel to the Bundesliga's bottom outfit, who are in dire need of victory


PROBABLE LINEUPS

FREIBURG


Baumann
Sorg, Diagne, Hohn, Lumb
Rosenthal, Makiadi, Flum, Schmid
Santini, Jendrisek

SCHALKE



Hildebrand
Howedes, Papadopoulos, Matip, Fuchs
Hoger, Jones
Obasi, Raul, Draxler
Marica


To add to the problems surrounding their Bundesliga status, Freiburg will be without several players for Schalke's visit. Oliver Barth will be unavailable with a knee injury, while Pavel Krmas and Simon Brandstetter are nursing hamstring and groin problems respectively.

Mensure Mujdza is in advanced training, but is not sufficiently fit to line up against the title challengers.

Huub Stevens will be without Klaas-Jan Huntelaar after the striker sustained hefty knock to his head playing for Netherlands in midweek, and the trainer has dropped Jefferson Farfan from his squad. Ciprian Marica and Chinedu Obasi are set to deputise in the roles of striker and right-winger, respectively.

Elsewhere, Christoph Metzelder is out with a hamstring problem, while Christoph Moritz has a back injury. Timo Hildebrand will continue in goal, thanks to the long-term absence of both Lars Unnerstall and Ralf Fahrmann.


DID YOU KNOW
  • Freiburg have won just one of their last 11 Bundesliga games, but have drawn five times in that span.
  • Erik Jendrisek endured an unhappy half-season spell at Schalke before moving on to Freiburg in January 2011.
  • Germany coach Joachim Low remains Freiburg's all time top scorer, having scored 81 goals in 252 games across three spells at the club.
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar became Schalke's highest ever scorer in European competition during his side's Europa League victory over Viktoria Plzen.

  • Huub Stevens' men have scored more goals from corners than any other team in the Bundesliga this season.
  • The Ruhr club are unbeaten against Freiburg since 2003 - when they lost 2-1 at the Mage Solar Stadion.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
37Oliver BaumannGoalkeeper
3Fallou DiagneDefender
25Oliver SorgDefender
41Immanuel HöhnDefender
2Andreas HinkelDefender
6Cedrick MakiadiMidfielder
7Jan RosenthalMidfielder
17Jonathan SchmidMidfielder
18Johannes FlumMidfielder
9Ivan SantiniStriker
7Daniel CaligiuriMidfielder
35Sebastian FreisStriker
19Daniel BatzGoalkeeper
-Michael LumbDefender
28Matthias GinterDefender
31Karim GuédéMidfielder
39Garra DembeleStriker
18Erik JendrisekStriker
27Stefan ReisingerStriker
30Timo HildebrandGoalkeeper
3Sergio EscuderoDefender
4Benedikt HöwedesDefender
14Kyriakos PapadopoulosDefender
32Joel MatipDefender
13Jermaine JonesMidfielder
10Julian DraxlerMidfielder
12Marco HögerMidfielder
7RaúlStriker
-Ciprian MaricaStriker
19Chinedu Ogbuke ObasiStriker
33Mathias SchoberGoalkeeper
6Tim HooglandDefender
22Atsuto UchidaDefender
10Lewis HoltbyMidfielder
18JuradoMidfielder
8Christoph MoritzMidfielder
20Teemu PukkiStriker
Players to Watch
Oliver Baumann
Oliver Baumann
Position: Goalkeeper
Squad Number: 37
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
During Freiburg's hard-fought 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich, Oliver Baumann was his side's saviour on more than one occasion, making a string of brave saves and claiming crosses. Although Schalke are not from the same ilk as the Bavarians, their potent front line will pose a similar test, one that Baumann will be key in withstanding.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 25
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Despite not having spent less that two seasons in the Bundesliga, Huntelaar is rapidly sealing his name among the best Dutch exports Germany has ever seen. He became his club's record scorer in European competition in February, and another brace would see him overtake Arie van Lent as the eighth highest Dutch scorer in the German league's history.
Prediction
It's fair to assume that last weekend's defeat to Bayern Munich was nothing more than a blip in what has otherwise been an extraordinary season for the Schalke. Freiburg seem to be a sinking ship at the moment, and I'd expect the visitors to come away with a convincing victory at Mage Solar Stadion, and further strengthen their grip on a Champions League place.
Editor's Prediction

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