Not many would have predicted at the start of the season that with five games left to play, Freiburg would feature in the race for the top four.
However, a memorable season for the hosts has shown no signs of letting up, and they will be hoping to keep their Champions League dream alive when they face Bochum on Saturday.
Freiburg’s superb campaign continues to go from strength to strength and with just five matches left to play, Christian Streich’s side are still firmly in the hunt for a top-four spot. They currently occupy fifth place- four points adrift of RB Leipzig, while Bayer Leverkusen are five points clear of the Breisgau-Brasilianer.
With Leipzig and Leverkusen set to face off on Sunday, Streich and his players will be fully aware that they have the chance to make up ground this weekend. They also have the chance to clinch consecutive victories after they squeezed past Eintracht Frankfurt in their most recent outing.
Vincenzo Grifo opened the scoring, but Freiburg’s lead dissipated when Filip Kostić equalised nine minutes into the second half. The Breisgau-Brasilianer, however, still left Deutsche Bank Park with all three points thanks to Nils Petersen’s fifth league goal of the season.
Freiburg have home advantage in their favour this weekend and the Freiburg faithful will be hoping for a better result than the one they obtained in their last home outing, with Bayern Munich cruising to a 4-1 victory on that occasion.
If the hosts are to emerge victorious on Saturday, then the third-best Bundesliga defence will need to be in top form.
Kevin Schade will miss out once again due to an abdominal injury, while Yannik Keitel also remains on the sidelines.
After coming off the bench to net in Freiburg’s last two games, Petersen may be presented with a starting place for Saturday’s contest.
Bochum’s stay in the Bundesliga is set to last at least two seasons, with Saturday’s visitors ten points clear of the bottom three.
In fact, rather than looking down, Bochum may be setting their sights on those above them in the league table, as the 12th-placed side bid to finish inside the top half of the Bundesliga table.
Thomas Reis’ team may face a Freiburg side that are in the hunt for the European places, but that will not daunt the visitors, who enter the contest off the back of positive results against Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen.
A Takuma Asano brace guided Die Unabsteigbaren to a 2-1 away victory over Hoffenheim before they played out a goalless draw against Die Werkself last weekend.
Bochum are set to face Freiburg for the third time this season after beating them in the league contest earlier in the season before losing in extra time to Streich’s side in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal.
Saturday’s visitors will be looking to avenge that cup defeat, although hopes of a win may be far fetched as Bochum have won just three away league games this season.
Christopher Antwi-Adjei and Jürgen Locadia remain doubts for the contest due to groin and hip issues respectively, while Simon Zoller is expected to feature on the bench once again after making his return from a long injury layoff last weekend.
|17||L. Kübler ⚽ ↪65|
|30||C. Günter (C)|
|27||N. Höfler ↪81|
|22||R. Sallai ⚽⚽ ↪73|
|29||J. Woo-Yeong ↪65|
|18||N. Petersen ↪65|
|9||L. Höler ↩65|
|11||E. Demirović ↩65|
|33||N. Weißhaupt ↩73|
|7||J. Schmid ↩65|
|19||J. Haberer ↩81|
|3||D. Soares ↪46|
|8||A. Losilla (C)|
|38||E. Löwen ↪66|
|27||M. Pantović ↪46|
|40||S. Polter ↪66|
|10||T. Asano ↪46|
|7||D. Blum ↩46|
|9||S. Zoller ↩46|
|19||J. Locadia ↩66|
|6||P. Osterhage ↩66|
|20||E. Rexhbecaj ↩46|