Julian Nagelsmann on…
On Sunday I’m expecting a tactically challenging game, because Christian Streich always manages to come up with a few surprises. He always has very good ideas, and, for example, surprised us last season with his match strategy. We need to be well prepared and cannot afford to overlook the basics. We need to be flexible – in some moments Freiburg defend with a very high line, and in others they sit very deep. They are under a bit of pressure because they haven’t had the best of starts to the season. But I feel like they want to put an end to that. Therefore it is definitely going to be a game that will require a lot from us physically. Freiburg always have a talented line-up, play to their strengths, and have a top coach who gets the best out of his players. They are a young team with some new faces, who first need to establish themselves in the league. They have just had another week to move closer to that goal. And by Sunday they will be yet another step closer.
…the team news.
Kevin Vogt picked up a cut on his shin against Ludogorets that needed stitches. So we’ll have to see how that goes. He is still in some pain. Sandro Wagner will train again on Friday after we have returned, and will definitely be available for selection. We are also optimistic about Benni Hübner, but can’t say anything for certain. Nadiem Amiri had to cut training short on Thursday – so probably won’t be available. Florian Grillitsch started eating properly again on Thursday. So we will have to see whether he will be ready to play on Sunday. The situation is getting a bit better. (TSG are still without Kerem Demirbay, Robert Zulj, Adam Szalai, and Ermin Bicakcic.)
…the sporting situation.
Naturally, on Thursday evening I was still in a bad mood about our performance in Rasgrad. We simply have to start getting the second and third goals. Overall we just weren’t good enough. The cost of a European game like that is big, as we are away for three days. To then have to return home empty handed is not a nice feeling. I will talk to the team about the game once we are back in Germany. We won’t go into great depth about it, because now we want, and need, to be fully focused on the game in Freiburg. The game there last season was very interesting. And it will no doubt be interesting again on Sunday. This is what it’s like when you have mid-week games: you get less training time and don’t get as much time to reflect on games, because you have to keep looking forward.
Head To Head
TSG and SCF have met 14 times in the Bundesliga, and the results are evenly split. Both sides have won three times, and eight times the game has ended in a draw. TSG’s last defeat against Freiburg was a while ago, back in September 2012.
The Opponent’s Form
Freiburg are the only side this season to have taken points off Borussia Dortmund, and they did it despite being a man down for 60 minutes. And yet Christian Streich’s team has only managed four points from four draws. Not an ideal start for the side that finished seventh last season, but they are still showing promising signs. In their last home game against Hannover, Freiburg were the better side but didn’t come away with the three points. Their problems mainly stem from their attack, as they have only managed two goals in 540 minutes of Bundesliga football.
The Key Battle
North Baden versus South Baden. A derby game. A game full of emotion. An intense game which Julian Nagelsmann expects to be very physical. For TSG, it is their seventh game in 22 days. So, alongside the football tactics, the teams’ commitment and physical condition will be just as decisive.