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Preview | Borussia Dortmund vs SC Freiburg

In the wake of a stuttering start to their Bundesliga season, Borussia Dortmund had seemingly dampened any hope of a challenger emerging to end Bayern Munich’s recent dominance within German football. However, a string of high-scoring games has put them firmly back into contention, leaving them third in the table and only three points behind Bayern. Their two six-nil victories—against Legia Warsaw in the Champions League and Darmstadt in the Bundesliga—were followed up by a five goal haul against VfL Wolfsburg, suggesting that their fixture against Freiburg is unlikely to end goalless.

Freiburg picked up a second win of the season midweek in a tight match against bottom of the table Hamburg, a result which puts them comfortably into the middle of the Bundesliga table. Both of Freiburg’s losses this season have come away from home so it is likely that Christian Streich will be looking for little more than a draw in his bid to prevent his team slipping towards the relegation places.

Team News

With Marc Bartra picking up an injury in the midweek fixture, it is likely that Matthias Ginter will fill in for him in the centre-back position. Beyond this, any other changes to Dortmund’s line-up are thought to be rotational: it is probable that Felix Passlack will replace Łukasz Piszczek at right-back, and Shinji Kagawa and Mario Götze continue to compete for the number ten spot.

If there is anything positive to take from Freiburg’s opening matches, it is that they are comfortably mid-table in spite of a spate of injuries. It is likely that Caglar Söyüncü will return at centre-back, with Nicolas Höfler switching back to his preferred position in defensive midfield and Onur Bulut possibly being dropped to the bench. After scoring mid-week, Nils Peterson may be brought into the starting XI and would probably play in place of Florian Niederlechner. In addition, Bulut, Mike Frantz and Janik Haberer all have a chance of starting on the right wing.

Possible Starting XI’s

Borussia Dortmund: (4-2-3-1) Roman Bürki—Felix Passlack, Sokratis, Matthias Ginter, Marcel Schmelzer—Sebastian Rode, Castro—Ousmane Dembélé, Mario Götze, Raphaël Guerreiro—Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Freiburg SC: (4-4-2) Alexander Schwolow—Pascal Stenzel, Manuel Gulde, Caglar Söyüncü, Christian Günter—Mike Frantz, Nicolas Höfler, Amir Abrashi, Vincenzo Grifo—Maximilian Phillip, Florian Niederlechner

Prediction—Dortmund 3 – 1 Freiburg

Given that Dortmund are on an 11-match win streak against Freiburg in Bundesliga meetings since 2010, it seems that this will be a comfortable win for the Yellow and Blacks. Dortmund’s home form combined with Freiburg’s away form also compounds the case against a Freiburg win. However, if Freiburg set up defensively with two banks of four, they could prove difficult to break down. Their best chance will be to prevent Dortmund scoring and catching them on the break. But with their recent rich vein of form in front of goal, it is unlikely that Dortmund will be held at bay for a whole match.  

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