SC Freiburg: One draw, two wins, three games, fourth place. That’s how Freiburg’s season has shaped up thus far ahead of the game against FC. It is the best start to a Bundesliga campaign in the club’s history. Christian Streich’s side also progressed to the second round of the DFB-Pokal thanks to a 1:0 win against Würzburger Kickers.
1. FC Köln: FC have also had a good start to the new term. Two wins and a defeat to Bayern Munich has seen Steffen Baumgart’s tenure as manager begin in a positive manner. Hard work has been key to that success. FC have covered 117.3km on average this season, a total of 353.49km over the three games to date. Only Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich have a higher total.
Christian Streich: “FC at the moment are nothing like the team from last season. The press and counter, every single player. It will be a very intense game. They have an incredible amount of emotion in the team at the moment and Steffen Baumgart embodies that. Köln will go forward and want to play like that. That also gives us opportunities but only when you keep a cool head. I think that the game will be really exciting for the fans. It will be a proper battle.”
Steffen Baumgart: “Freiburg haven’t just drawn attention to themselves because of their points total, but also due to their performances. The fact that they have beaten Dortmund and Stuttgart shows what lies in wait. Especially at home, Freiburg are always hard to play against. I hope it is a close game and then we also have the chance to win. We want to be awake from the first whistle, to put into practice what we’ve worked on and to react when Freiburg make a mistake.”
SC Freiburg: Roland Sallai and Nico Schlotterbeck are both doubts for the game having first arrived back from international duty on Thursday evening. Ermedin Demirovic has returned with an infection following his journey away to the Bosnian national team. Whether or not he recovers in time remains to be seen. Nicolas Höfler had not featured in team training up until Thursday and is also a doubt due to a bruised foot. Jonathan Schmid is definitely absent due to a Corona infection.
1. FC Köln: Jannes Horn is continuing to work on his recovery after his hip operation. Timo Hübers is back in team training following his ankle injury, with Jan Thielmann beginning to make strides after his illness. However, the game against Freiburg will come too soon for both. However, all internationals are back fit and healthy from their exploits over the last week.
Since arriving in Germany in 2018, Woo-yeong Jeong has bounced between Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg but looks set to feature heavily in Christian Streich’s plans this season. The South Korean forward has started every game so far this campaign, scoring twice against Stuttgart. The hard-working and tireless Jeong only started seven games in 2020-21 and will be hoping to build on his strong start to the new term this weekend.
In the last eight games previous to today’s meeting, FC and Freiburg have produced an impressive 35 goals. Nine of those went the way of SCF last season, claiming 5:0 and 4:1 victories. However, FC will fondly remember the away game two years ago. That saw Anthony Modeste and Ellyes Skhiri turn the game around in the second-half to seal the first win of the 2019-20 campaign.
Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover).Assistant Referees: Robert Kempter, Thomas Gorniak.Fourth Official: Timo Gerach.Video Assistant Referee: Sören Storks.
€ 79.99 *