Freiburg host Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga’s Friday night clash.
Both sides got their campaigns up and running with victories last weekend, so will be hoping to continue that when they face each other in a fascinating encounter.
Match preview and Live Status link below.
Freiburg’s sixth-placed finish last season was their highest since 2012-13, which ironically was head coach Christian Streich‘s first full season in charge of the club having remained in his role since December 2011.
Only Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid is in a longer-serving position as head coach of a club in Europe’s top five leagues, with Streich missing out on that particular accolade by the grand total of six days.
However, the 57-year-old is doing a remarkable job all the same, with his players showing no signs of any disappointment lingering from May’s agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal final having thrashed Augsburg 4-0 away from home last weekend.
After a goalless first half, new signing Michael Gregoritsch‘s towering header broke the deadlock against his former club on debut just 16 seconds after the restart.
With 41% of Freiburg’s goals coming from set pieces last season, the 28-year-old could become an invaluable free transfer given his height and presence in the opposition penalty area, while Vincenzo Grifo displayed his proficiency from free kicks by looping the ball over Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz and into the far top corner of the net to double his side’s lead.
Gregoritsch added an assist to his name when his knockdown from another free kick helped Matthias Ginter guide the ball into the far corner for a debut goal, with another new signing having a debut to remember as Ritsu Doan expertly placed the ball into the bottom corner from outside of the area.
As far as first days of the season go, Freiburg’s could hardly have gone any better with so many new signings making an instant impact, but Streich will be fully aware that Friday will be a much bigger test when Dortmund come into town.
Dortmund’s opening day win came in much more marginal circumstances, with Marco Reus‘s early tap-in proving enough to edge top-four rivals Bayer Leverkusen 1-0.
Last season’s league meetings between the two sides both saw seven goals scored, yet this particular clash surprisingly only had that number of shots on target.
Two of Dortmund’s three both came in the 10th-minute when Karim Adeyemi thought he had scored on his debut having moved from Red Bull Salzburg in the summer, but the forward’s strike had not crossed the line before captain Reus ensured that it did.
Adeyemi’s disappointment was compounded by picking up a foot injury 23rd-minute, with BVB desperately hoping it is not a serious issue having already lost the services of fellow new forward signing Sebastien Haller for several months after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
In truth, Edin Terzic‘s side were lucky to cling onto their victory with Patrik Schick twice squandering glorious opportunities to level the proceedings, although huge credit must go to goalkeeper Gregor Kobel as he made himself big on both occasions to thwart the Czech Republic striker.
His counterpart Lukas Hradecky saw red in injury-time having handled the ball outside of the area and denied a clear goalscoring opportunity in the process, helping Dortmund cling on for a valuable three points, even if Reus failed to test makeshift goalkeeper Edmond Tapsoba from the ensuing free kick.
A clean sheet is certainly not to be sniffed at for a side which has leaked too many goals in recent years, but Terzic will know his side must perform better if they are to win in Freiburg on Friday.
After such a strong opening-day performance, Streich is unlikely to make any changes to the XI which dispatched Augsburg with relative ease.
Lucas Holer, Kevin Schade and Kimberly Ezekwem are all ruled out through injury, while Lukas Kubler is a doubt due to a thigh strain.
Dortmund, on the other hand, have plenty to ponder with Adeyemi a doubt due to his foot injury.
However, the 20-year-old is unlikely to miss many matches after a structural issue was ruled out following medical examination, with a return to training next week potentially on the horizon.
Thorgan Hazard is likely to replace him on the right flank having impressed after coming on as a substitute against Leverkusen, while new signing Anthony Modeste may be drafted straight in to lead the line following the experienced striker’s move from FC Koln earlier this week.
Niklas Sule‘s wait for his league debut for BVB will continue after the former Bayern Munich defender strained a muscle in the recent cup win over 1860 Munich.
Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart, Gunter; Eggestein, Hofler; Sallai, Doan, Grifo; Gregoritsch
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Meunier, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Guerreiro; Dahoud, Bellingham; Hazard, Reus, Malan; Modeste