Freiburg - As traditionally slow starters, SC Freiburg stuck to the form book early on and needed a couple of games to click into gear. Since then, however, the Black Forest outfit, lead by their indomitably charismatic coach Christian Streich, have surprised many on-lookers not only with some impressive results, but also the slick performances which earned them. Often touted as relegation candidates, a spot in the European places no longer seems such a far-fetched pipedream.

Going into their Matchday 7 clash at home to fellow strugglers Nuremberg, Freiburg were hovering just above the relegation zone in 14th. With just five points to show for their efforts, it looked like being another dogfight right through until May. Yet a resolute performance, particularly after the break, sealed a 3-0 win. Streich's troops haven't looked back since, winning four and drawing two of the ensuing nine games, while defeats only came at the hands of the mighty Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

is the heartbeat of the Freiburg midfield and the perfect embodiment of Streich's footballing philosophy. His never-say-die attitude and box-to-box style have seen him cover an average of 10.9 kilometres per game this term, while the defensive midfield man has also chipped in with two goals and an assist. The Congo DR international, winning 59.2 per cent of all challenges to break up opposition attacks and distributing the ball carefully, finding a team-mate 82.7 per cent of the time.

At 24-years-old, does not fit the usual description of an up-and-coming talent with the world at his feet, but that does not make him any less potent. Following the departure of talismanic forward Papiss Demba Cisse in last year's winter break, the attacking midfielder has grown into the role of mischief maker-in-chief, frequently causing opposition backlines problems with his tireless running, dragging defenders out of position to grab four goals and one assist thus far.

116.9 - Average kilometres per game covered by Freiburg, the fourth highest in the top-flight.
2885 - Total number of sprints made by SCF's players thus far, equating to 169 per game.
92 - Total number of corners awarded to Freiburg this season.
50 - Number of fouls committed against Cedrick Makiadi, making him the side's most frequent victim
28 - Number of fouls committed by Cedrick Makiadi, who's no shrinking violet himself.

"I had a feeling it could have been an extraordinary day. Unfortunately, it wasn't. We just have to live with these things and keep our heads up," coach Christian Streich after his side's 2-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich on Matchday 14.