Saturday evening combatants 14th-placed Nürnberg and 15th-placed Freiburg are not out of the relegation woods just yet
Saturday evening combatants 14th-placed Nürnberg and 15th-placed Freiburg are not out of the relegation woods just yet

Survival in their own hands for Freiburg and Nürnberg

Freiburg - Priceless points in the context of the Bundesliga's nip-tuck relegation battle are up for grabs when 1. FC Nürnberg travel to SC Freiburg on Saturday evening (kick-off 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET).

'Long road ahead'

Both sides go into the encounter having only recently hauled themselves two points clear of the bottom three, but fully aware they can just as quickly have the rug pulled from underneath them, with as few as seven games left to play this season.

'It's important to keep our run going," affirmed Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann in the wake of Wednesday's 1-1 draw away to 16th-placed Hamburger SV. "The second half of the campaign hasn't gone that badly for us, but there's still a long road ahead."

Die Breisgauer have at least given themselves a fighting chance of reaching their final destination after picking up seven points from the last nine on offer. Back-to-back wins over Eintracht Frankfurt and SV Werder Bremen preceded the midweek stalemate at the Imtech Arena, with confidence in the Freiburg camp seemingly growing by the day.

'Concentration and patience'

"We held our own and deserved to take a point from the game in Hamburg," explained Freiburg head coach Christian Streich. "Now it's in our own hands. I'm not looking any further ahead than Nürnberg. So I hope we've got the necessary concentration and patience in us to create chances and, with a bit of luck, we'll come away with the points."

Nürnberg themselves appeared to play the patience card at home to VfB Stuttgart on Wednesday, grinding down the opposition with the help of leading scorer Josip Drmic's cut-throat efficiency in front of goal. The Swiss forward netted either side of half time against die Schwaben and has now found the net more often this calendar year (nine times) than any other player in the Bundesliga.

'A lot of fun'

"The team really trusts Josip," Nürnberg head coach Gertjan Verbeek told "He also knows that he has a lot to gain from their hard work. We were a bit nervous in the first 20-25 minutes [on Matchday 27], but after that we grew into the game and really stepped things up a notch. It should be a lot of fun at Freiburg."

For all the Dutchman's pre-match excitement, though, there has to be an element of vengeance involved, after his first home game in charge of der Club ended in a comprehensive 3-0 reverse at the hands of none other than Freiburg last November. Only once before have the Baden outfit done the double over Nürnberg who, somewhat ominously, haven't beaten the south-west club at this level in nigh-on ten years.

Possible line-ups:

Freiburg: Baumann - C. Günter, Krmas, Ginter, Sorg - Schuster, Fernandes - Schmid, Klaus - Mehmedi, Darida

Nürnberg: R. Schäfer - Feulner, Petrak, Pinola, Plattenhardt - Frantz - Drmic, Campana, Kiyotake, Hlousek - Pekhart

Christopher Mayer-Lodge

Click here to find your local broadcaster for this match.