As a native of Hamburg and long-time servant of Hamburger SV's city rival FC St Pauli, defeat to HSV last weekend was to Holger Stanislawski doubly disappointing. This Saturday his team has the chance to out the defeat behind them when they take on local rivals SC Freiburg. Kick-off is this Saturday at 3.30 in the WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Scoring more goals
The major problem that Stanislawski's team seems to be having at the moment is simple: finding the back of the net. 1899 have managed just 15 goals in their 13 league games so far this term, the same amount as they have conceded – too few to begin looking up the league, but enough to keep them free of the relegation battle, for now. Stani believes he has identified what has been holding his team back in games this year, particularly away from home. ”In a lot of our games this season we have a bad 15-minute spell in each half. We've been conceding in those periods, and it's happening quite regularly. It also means we haven't been able to make the pressure we've been building count”, said the manager at Thursday's press conference. “We also have to be sharper at the back. Some of the goals we've conceded have been unfortunate, but we need to minimise the errors in any case. Last week against Hamburg we concede two poor goals.”
Beck out, Braafheid a doubt
Stanislawski is expected to make changes to his backline this week. Captain Andreas Beck will have to sit the game out due to suspension after collecting his fifth yellow card in Hamburg last Sunday. Austrian full-back Andreas Ibertsberger is expected to come in for him if he can shake off a niggling back problem. Opposite full-back Edson Braafheid is also a doubt. He suffered a thigh strain last week. Versatile American Daniel Williams could be in line for an appearance against his old club, for whom he made 14 Bundesliga appearances.
Stats and Facts
Hoffenheim have only four players who found the net this season in the league: Sejad Salihovic, Vedad Ibisevic, Ryan Babel and Roberto Firmino. They have scored just three goals in the last seven games, all of which have been converted by Ibisevic. Freiburg have a poor away record of late, winning just one in their last seven, while Hoffenheim are unbeaten in their last four at home. But Sport-Club have lost only once in the last five meetings with 1899, winning three and drawing one. Last season, Freiburg did the league double over Hoffenheim on their way to a 9th-placed finish.