Luca Waldschmidt will be hoping to get back among the goals when Freiburg travel to Sinsheim to face Hoffenheim in the south-west derby on Sunday (kick-off: 3.30pm CEST/2.30pm BST/9.30am ET).
Having shut out Bayer Leverkusen prior to the September international break, Hoffenheim have every reason to be confident of building on their unbeaten two-match run when the Bundesliga action resumes this weekend. Die Kraichgauer fell to a narrow defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 1, but bounced back to win their first home game of the season, against Werder Bremen, before holding top-four candidates Leverkusen to a goalless draw. Add in their penalty shoot-out victory over Würzburger Kickers in the DFB Cup first round, and life after Julian Nagelsmann isn't looking so bad after all. New coach Alfred Schreuder is still without Andrej Kramaric - Hoffenheim's 17-goal top scorer last season - while summer signing Diadie Samassekou will have to wait to make his full debut after picking up a thigh injury on international duty with Mali. Midfielder Steven Zuber has not played since the opening weekend, and remains a doubt.
Freiburg are two points better off than Baden-Württemberg rivals Hoffenheim, having beaten Mainz 3-0 and promoted Paderborn 3-1 in their first two league matches of 2019/20. Christian Streich's men came unstuck against Cologne on Matchday 3, though, succumbing to a 2-1 loss despite taking a first-half lead. It was the first time this season Waldschmidt failed to find the net, although two of his three efforts in all competitions have come via the penalty spot. The 23-year-old received his first call-up to the Germany national team for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Netherlands and Northern Ireland, but was an unused substitute in both games. Nils Petersen and Brandon Borrello are expected to continue in attack alongside Freiburg's current top scorer, but a clause in the contract of Vincenzo Grifo - who rejoined the Black Forest outfit on deadline day - prevents the Germany-born Italy international midfielder facing his former club on this occasion.
Watch: Luca Waldschmidt, Germany's next great striker?
- With four points after three matchdays, new Hoffenheim coach Schreuder has one more than predecessor Nagelsmann did at the same stage last season.
- Two of Hoffenheim’s three goals this season have been scored by defenders: Pavel Kaderabek and Ermin Bicakcic.
- Hoffenheim have won two of their last three meetings with Freiburg, drawing the other. The Black Forest club’s last win over Die Kraichgauer was in October 2017.
- Waldschmidt top scored for Germany at the UEFA European U21 Championship in June with seven goals. The Freiburg striker has two from three games so far this term.
- Grifo scored just one of his 13 Bundesliga goals for Hoffenheim, the rest coming in his previous spell with Christian Streich’s side.
- Freiburg have been fouled the most this season (50 times) as well as committing the least fouls themselves (18).
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Posch, Vogt (c), Hübner - Kaderabek, Rudy, Grillitsch, Stafylidis - Skov - Bebou, Belfodil
Out: Kramaric (knee), Samassekou (hamstring)
Doubtful: Geiger (cold), Ochs (ankle), Zuber (bruised foot)
Coach: Alfred Schreuder
Freiburg: Schwolow - Lienhart, Koch, Schlotterbeck - Schmid, Haberer, Höfler, Günter (c) - Waldschmidt, Petersen, Borrello
Out: Flekken (ankle), Grifo (ineligible), Terrazzino (knee)
Doubtful: Höler (shin)
Coach: Christian Streich