Gisdol expects a difficult encounter and can't imagine that Freiburg's two opening defeats have left a mark. “Christian Streich is a very likeable manager, but he is also the master of understatements,” said Hoffenheim's man at the helm. “We have a decent relationship. I regard Christian very highly.”
Gisdol knows that the Freiburg manager can always come up with something to surprise his opponents. Eugen Polanski, who sat next to Gisdol at the press conference, isn't completely sure what to make of SCF: “Freiburg had a great campaign last year but they've had a lot of players leave in the summer. It's hard to judge what level they're at.”
Carry on stabilising
That's not a problem though, because the focus is not on the upcoming opponents but rather on TSG themselves. “We're working on trying to be a little more stable because we still have too many critical phases in our play. The aim is to ensure that it doesn't become too easy for the opponents to complete their attacks in these phases,” said Gisdol. The manager has seen nothing from Freiburg's defeats to Leverkusen and Mainz to suggest that they are weak.
“If Freiburg had a bit more luck in Leverkusen they would have come away with a point, while their defeat to Mainz was a close encounter too,” explained Gisdol. “The standard of play in the Bundesliga is so close. It's the little things and individual moments that are decisive. Freiburg have been on the wrong end of them recently.”
No Rudy or Grahl
Sebastian Rudy remains unavailable for selection this weekend. The Hoffenheim defensive midfielder is expected to return to team training over the next week. Also not in the squad is number 2 keeper Jens Grahl, who has picked up a muscle injury.
With the 24-year-old now sidelined for a few weeks, TSG have signed free agent Alexander Stolz. “We wanted to do some strengthening in the goalkeeping department anyway,” said Gisdol. “Stolz fits into the team perfectly and is happy to be utilised as a back-up keeper.”