Freiburg will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they welcome Eintracht Frankfurt to the new Europa-Park Stadion on Sunday.
The hosts are still in the middle of their best-ever start to a Bundesliga campaign despite the minor setback prior to the international break, whilst the visitors are slowly beginning to turn results around after a disappointing start to their season.
Despite suffering their first loss of the Bundesliga campaign last time out, Freiburg remain on an incredible run of form in these early stages, particularly considering their performance in that defeat.
Losing 2-1 to reigning champions and current leaders Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena is far from a disappointment, and considering the Black Forest side pushed the Bavarians all the way, manager Christian Streich will be proud of the effort and quality displayed by his players.
Were it not for some excellent stops from Bayern’s Manuel Neuer, Freiburg may have even nicked a point, but Janik Haberer’s stoppage-time goal proved to be only a consolation in the end.
However, Freiburg remain in the midst of a fairytale season so far in the opening weeks, and as a result they find themselves occupying third in the table heading into Sunday’s encounter, just two points behind Borussia Dortmund in second.
A division-best of just nine goals conceded has been the primary reason for their unlikely rise into the Champions League places, with Streich setting up a well-drilled side of players that press and defend aggressively as a solid unit, and one that has frustrated many opponents already this campaign.
That kind of display is likely to be on show again on Sunday, as Freiburg will thrive on the opportunity to return to winning ways in front of their own supporters at their new Europa-Park Stadion – one which has become the home of Streich’s men since opening in early October.
Meanwhile, back-to-back victories prior to the international break have eased some of the concerns surrounding Frankfurt ahead of Sunday’s trip to Freiburg.
Former Wolfsburg boss Oliver Glasner arrived in the summer to replace the departed Adi Hutter, but the Austrian manager failed to win in any of his opening eight competitive fixtures in charge across all competitions.
Since then however, Glasner has overseen five wins from the following eight games, although three of these have arrived in the Europa League rather than the Bundesliga.
Whilst Die Adler occupy top spot of Group D in Europe, with progression to the knockout stages all but confirmed, the picture is rather different in domestic action, where Frankfurt find themselves down in 14th place at the time of writing, with just three points separating them and Augsburg in the relegation playoff spot.
The difficulty of turning draws into wins has been the cause of this, with just 12 goals scored in the opening 11 Bundesliga outings, meaning Frankfurt are still suffering from the departure of last season’s top goalscorer Andre Silva to RB Leipzig.
His primary replacement, Rafael Santos Borre, has struggled to reach anywhere near the levels of his predecessor yet, but his dramatic 94th-minute winner last time out at Greuther Furth did ensure that his side entered the international break on a high.
Were it not for the Colombian’s strike, Frankfurt would have found themselves in an all too familiar situation this season, with what would have been a seventh 1-1 draw of the campaign, which this time would have disappointingly come against the Bundesliga’s bottom club after the Clover Leaves had appeared to nick a last-gasp equaliser.
Freiburg Bundesliga form:
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Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga form:
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We say: Freiburg 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Neither Freiburg or Frankfurt have blown many teams away this season, but with the outstanding defensive record of the hosts, we can see them edging out the visitors here.
It is likely to be a tight game with very little between the two sides, but taking home advantage into account along with the excellent start to the season from Freiburg, we believe they will come out victorious and return to winning ways in this one.