Match Preview: SC Freiburg vs. Borussia Dortmund
After what seems like years, the Bundesliga finally returns this weekend and BVB are faced with a trip to the Black Forest to play SC Freiburg. Both sets of fans will be hoping to see their new players in action on their team’s first outings since the transfer window shut. Borussia Dortmund will have Andriy Yarmolenko, Jeremy Toljan and Jadon Sancho available for selection following their moves from Dynamo Kyiv, Hoffenheim and Manchester City respectively, while Freiburg fans will be eager to see Ryan Kent in action after he moved on loan from Liverpool on Deadline Day. Freiburg won, however, r have Pascal Stenzel available due to FIFA rules concerning players on loan playing against their parent clubs.
The hosts go into this game still looking for their first 3 points of the season, after drawing 0-0 at home with Eintracht Frankfurt on the opening weekend and being beaten 4-1 in Leipzig last time out. Christian Streich will be eager to see his side finally get the monkey off their back starting with a win at home against Dortmund this weekend. But the Freiburg manager is in positive mood in the wake of his Deadline Day additions. “We wanted the competition situation and the quality in the squad once again. So now the transfer period is gone, the team must be compared with the level a year ago, partly still find their bearings and also with this situation [being new to the team]. Much is currently open, which is good, but also for us is not always easy. That is why it applies to players, to find a good emotional balance and stay hungry.”
During his pre-match press conference, Streich was also keen to stress his awareness of the quality of the opposition. “Dortmund has immense speed in the offensive, they have as much quality in midfield and the playmaking, they operate with short position changes, as well as their famous pressing and Gegenpressing and they are confident after the two victories”, he said. Yet the goal is on Saturday, as in the last game for RB Leipzig, “to deal with the enemy and to act. “
Even though Streich is clearly happy with his squad situation at the moment, he will not be pleased to be without Marc Oliver Kempf. The talismanic defender pulled his hamstring in a friendly with Swiss side St. Gallen during the international break and will be out for a period of time. Nils Peterson is also missing during to a muscular injury, as is Nicolas Hofler after being sent off against Red Bull Leipzig. Caglar Soyuncu, Manuel Gulde, Jonas Meffert and Georg Niedermeier also continue to be on the missing list for Freiburg. Some good news though is the re-emergence of Karim Guede for the hosts who is back in the fold following his own injury issues.
In the build-up to this game, Dortmund boss Peter Bosz has been in defiant mood regarding his players’ return from international duty. It appears he is accepting no excuses for any poor performances. “We knew full well that the break was coming. I accept things as they are,” he said in his pre-match press conference. He was also keen to discount BVB’s good record against Freiburg. “They play in a well-structured formation with good players who are dangerous on the counter. It will not be simple. We have already seen that against Hertha when a team is well organised. All the players need to be fully focused in order to get a good result.” Although Dortmund have not been beaten in their last 12 encounters against the team that currently sit 15th in the Bundesliga, it is clear that Bosz will not expect his team to forge ahead as they did against Hertha in their last game.
Bosz was keen to stress in his pre-match presser the importance of strength in depth for a top team, declaring that, “We need to have the players available, we can’t play seven matches over the next three weeks with only 11 players. We have a very big squad with very good players. A top team needs to be spoilt for choice like that.” With that in mind, he will be pleased that Marcel Shmelzer is now fit and ready for first team action once again following an ankle injury. However Julian Wiegl will not feature this weekend despite being back in training. Bosz insists that the young midfielder needs a slow reintegration to fend off further injuries. He did insist though that Weigl can play alongside the man who has been deemed his replacement, Nuri Sahin, upon his return to the starting line-up. All eyes may also be on Maximillian Phillipp on his first game back in Baden-Wurttemburg since his summer switch to Westphalia.
The stage is set for the Bundesliga to return then. Dortmund will be hoping to continue their winning ways following wins against Werder Bremen and Hertha BSC in their opening games of the season, while Freiburg will be looking to put their poor form behind them and finally dispel their BVB hoodoo.