With Freiburg and Union Berlin level on 27 points, the winner of Sunday’s contest will finish 2022 in second position.
Freiburg’s six-game unbeaten run in all competitions came to an end last Sunday when they were beaten 3-1 by RB Leipzig.
After playing out a goalless first half, Mohamed Simakan and Christopher Nkunku both scored a goal apiece to give Leipzig a two-goal lead. Although Lukas Kübler managed to halve the deficit, Emil Forsberg dispatched his spot-kick to condemn Freiburg to a 3-1 defeat.
Despite losing to Leipzig, Christian Streich’s side begin the day in fourth position. They are also unbeaten in their last nine competitive home games, and they will have the chance to record a fourth consecutive home victory on Sunday.
Since losing 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund in their opening home game of the Bundesliga season, Freiburg have kept four clean sheets in five league matches at the Europa-Park Stadion, and another strong defensive display could help claim a positive result after losing both of their home games against Union last season.
The hosts are expected to be without the services of Manuel Gulde, Jonathan Schmid and Kimberly Ezekwem, while Daniel-Kofi Kyereh is a doubt.
The World Cup break may come at the right time for a Union side who have picked up one point from their last two league games. A disappointing 5-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen was followed by a 2-2 draw against Augsburg where Union gave up the lead on two occasions.
Despite conceding seven goals in their last two games, Union share the joint second-best defensive record in the league with Freiburg.
Urs Fischer’s side will now turn their attention to Sunday’s contest where they will be looking to avoid a third consecutive away defeat in the Bundesliga.
Although they may be experiencing a poor run of form, Union can take confidence from the fact that they have won five of their last eight games against Freiburg in all competitions, while they are also unbeaten in their last five meetings with Sunday’s opponents.
Union will be unable to call upon András Schäfer and Frederik Rønnow due to injury issues. Kevin Möhwald is also a doubt, while Rani Khedira is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.