Freiburg - SC Freiburg can secure qualification for the UEFA Europa League knockout stages when they host FC Sevilla on Thursday evening (kick-off 21:05 CET).

To reach the last 32 of the competition, the Black Forest club must better the result of FC Slovan Liberec, who face Portuguese outfit GD Estoril Praia.

Tall order


On paper, at least, it's Freiburg who appear to have the more difficult task. 2005/06 and 2006/07 Europe League winners Sevilla, who recorded a 2-0 victory when the sides last met in October, are the only team yet to lose in Group H and will secure top spot if they avoid a heavy defeat to Christian Streich's side at the MAGE Solar Stadion.

However, in order to stand a chance against the La Liga outfit, Freiburg must buck their recent trend of conceding early on in games. Die Breisgauer have found themselves two goals down inside a quarter of an hour in both their last two league matches on home soil. "I have no idea why we always concede these early goals," said Streich. "It makes it impossible to take points off the stronger teams in particular."

Thin on the ground


Freiburg's lengthy injury list hardly helps matters. Streich will have to do without the services of Francis Coquelin, who was stretchered off with an ankle injury against VfL Wolfsburg at the weekend, while first-team regulars Mensur Mujdza, Felix Klaus, Julian Schuster and Jonathan Schmid also remain unavailable.

Despite their current injury crisis, goalkeeper Oliver Baumann is confident of getting the result they need to reach the progress. "It would give everyone at the club a boost if we can make it through," said the 23-year-old. "Of course, we have to make sure we play well and we're switched on, particularly at the start of the game, but it would be a huge achievement if we were to win."

Possible line-ups:

Freiburg: Baumann – Sorg, Hohn, Diagne, Gunter – Ginter, Höfler – Fernandes, Darida, Mehmedi – Hanke

Sevilla: Javi Varas – Coke, Fazio, Caricco, Navarro – Mbia, Cristoforo – Perotti, Rakitic, Reyes – Bacca