Freiburg play their second game at the Europa-Park Stadion in just four days against a fresher Gladbach side who do not have European football to worry about.
|Vincenzo Grifo.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
Freiburg are off to a superb start in all competitions with five out of six wins in Germany along with an opening Europa League victory over Qarabag this week. It’s the busiest two-month stretch in recent memory for the club, who will have to start rotating their squad at some point with this ridiculous schedule.
It’s also a bit of a homecoming for Matthias Ginter, as he faces his former team for the first time since his summer transfer. He’ll join center-back partner Philipp Lienhart with Kiliann Sildillia and captain Christian Gunter likely to start on the wings.
It will be interesting to see if coach Christian Streich makes any changes to the usual lineup on Sunday, as Freiburg travel to Olympiacos in a few days. Many supporters would like to see young right-back Hugo Siquet receive more playing time, but he won’t even be in the squad after starting for Freiburg’s reserve team on Saturday.
Streich believes that, “Gladbach are very offensive, an opponent who wants to solve a lot in terms of football.” Adding that they will be “tactically really good” with new coach Daniel Farke at the helm.
Roland Sallai, Lucas Holer and Kimberly Ezekwem are all out with injuries. Kevin Schade has a slight chance of featuring in the squad for the first time since March, while Manuel Gulde could also return.
Even with a difficult loss to Mainz last weekend, it can still be said that Gladbach are off to a decent start to the season. Marvin Friedrich and Luca Netz could both receive starting nods in defense with Ko Itakura suspended and Nico Elvedi injured.
Alassane Plea is also out and won’t be able to pair in attack with Marcus Thuram, who’s off to a fiery start with six goals and two assists in only six competitive games. Gladbach have an important streak to the end, as they are somehow winless against Freiburg in their last 14 matchups.
Farke stated that, “Freiburg offer a tough challenge. They have played at the top level for a while now and have made a brilliant start. Playing them away is one of the hardest games in the Bundesliga right now.”
Plea and Elvedi are unavailable with injuries, while Itakura is suspended after his red card on Matchday 5.