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Hoffenheim vs. SC Freiburg preview: The Baden battle

By Jonathan Dicks   @Jonathan_Dicks

With both sides off to excellent starts in league play, Freiburg travel to Hoffenheim for one last game before the much-needed international break.
Georginio Rutter.
Georginio Rutter.Photo: TSG Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim


Hoffenheim are coming off a fairly stress-free win against Mainz last weekend and unlike Freiburg, are well rested without any European football to worry about. They have nine different goalscorers on the season, as everyone seems to be coming back to life under new coach Andre Breitenreiter.


Ozan Kabak is the centerpiece of an improved defense that has only allowed two goals in the last four matches. Although the versatile Robert Skov missed most of training this week, he’s still likely to feature on the right wing after Angelino’s arrival from Leipzig.

Breitenreiter stated that, "We are looking forward to the Baden battle. We want to add to our points tally at home - but we know we're coming up against tough opposition. Freiburg showed that again (on Thursday)."

Having never lost in a head-to-head battle with Christian Streich, Breitenreiter will want nothing more than to continue his streak on Sunday evening.
Team News

They will be without Benjamin Hübner, Ihlas Bebou and Ermin Bicakcic.

SC Freiburg


Freiburg are off to a roaring star of their own with only one loss recorded in all competitions. They’re hardly hurting after the departure of Nico Schlotterbeck, as Matthias Ginter has everything under control at the back in his return to his home club.

Set-piece wizard Vincenzo Grifo is again confusing opposing defenses, as he links with the never-injured captain Christian Günter on the left wing. Freiburg’s summer signings have really improved their squad, as the Breisgau club have clearly won the swap deal of Michael Gregoritsch for Ermedin Demirovic with Augsburg.


The ever-quotable Streich discussed how, "Hoffenheim have overcome Covid and injuries. They are extremely difficult to play in a 3-5-2, defensively strong and aggressively have the right quality. This will be a very difficult game and with all due respect something different from that in Olympiacos. - If we survive in Hoffenheim on Sunday, that would be a statement and then I would say: Chapeau!"

After their scoreless draw to Gladbach on Matchday 6, Freiburg look to turn things around against a team they’ve scored at least a goal against in their last 18 matchups.
Team News

Roland Sallai, Lucas Höler and Kimberly Ezekwem have been ruled out, while Ritsu Doan is questionable after picking up an injury this week in the Europa League.


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