SC Freiburg vs. Hertha BSC preview: Can Schwarz’s side steal a point?
By Jonathan Dicks @Jonathan_Dicks
The blue capital club travel to the Black Forest on Saturday in hopes of climbing out of the bottom three, while Freiburg continue to have their eyes set on more European football.
It’s been an interesting week for the usually quiet Breisgau club, as legendary striker Nils Petersen announced his retirement. Rumors have also swirled over Mark Flekken’s potential summer transfer to England and Roland Sallai’s father has seemingly announced that his son will join Lazio next season.
Freiburg comfortably sit 4th in the table with seven points separating themselves and 7th place. But, they can’t relax anytime soon as Christian Streich’s team have a brutal final four games against Leipzig, Union, Wolfsburg and Frankfurt.
When asked about Petersen’s retirement, Streich stated, "He came to me the day before and told me. It's obviously a difficult decision. A great career, a great path. National player, scored endless goals for us. - He's so good, he has such good decision-making skills. He always has the best solution straight away. It's a big word: but in that respect, he's world class."
Michael Gregoritsch is out with a yellow-card suspension, while Daniel-Kofi Kyereh is unavailable for the rest of the season. Philipp Lienhart is questionable, meaning Manuel Gulde could receive another start.
Following their loss on Matchday 25 to Hoffenheim, Hertha are back into the relegation playoff spot once again. They aren’t heading to Freiburg with much confidence having lost their last eight league matches away from home.
It’s likely that Jessic Ngankam and Dodi Lukebakio will pair up front this weekend after solid performances over the international break. Florian Niederlechner has struggled since his move from Augsburg and Wilfried Kanga has disappointingly only scored two goals this season.
Sandro Schwarz commented, "There isn't much difference in the data between home and away games. But, at home we are always in the position to turn games around in certain phases, while recently we have just not really been good enough away from home more often than not."
Jean-Paul Boëtius, Kelian Nsona, Chidera Ejuke, Stefan Jovetic and Marco Richter won’t be available. It’s unclear if Marc-Oliver Kempf will be fit enough to play.