bundesliga.com has all juiciest pre-match build-up ahead of the encounter at the Stadion an der Schwarzwaldstraße...
For the hosts, simply getting a point on the board would be a positive at this stage following last week's defeat away to Frankfurt. Meanwhile, after bolstering their attacking department significantly over the summer break, Gladbach are aiming for a second victory in the space of a few days following their European exertions.
The hosts will be without injured duo Sascha Riether and Sebastian Freis, who are suffering from knee and muscular trouble respectively, as well as the suspended Karim Guede. However, coach Christian Streich could hand debuts to new signings , brought in from Mainz last week, and central defender , who moved from Bundesliga 2 side 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
This will be Gladbach’s fifth competitive match in the last 16 days and given the strain that has put his players under, coach Lucien Favre, who has all squad members available for selection, said “we might make one or two changes to the starting XI.” That could mean last week's hero comes into the side after appearing as a substitute against Stuttgart last week.
had an impressive debut season in south-west Germany in 2013/14, finishing as Freiburg’s top scorer with 12 goals. After the club drew a blank last week, and with new striker Schahin still to find his feet in the team, the hosts need their Swiss international to find his shooting boots on Sunday if they are to take anything from the match.
Gladbach sorely missed Kramer’s influence against Stuttgart last week, with the midfielder left on the bench as he is yet to reach full fitness after enjoying an extended post-World Cup break. He scored the all-important equaliser once he entered the fray, though, also completing 95.8 per cent of his passes. The 23-year-old then excelled in the Foals’ win over FK Sarajevo on Thursday and is crucial in keeping Gladbach ticking over in midfield.
Christian Streich: “We know how good Gladbach are, and they’ve got even more strength in depth this season.”
“Freiburg have a good team and in the last few years we’ve always struggled there. But we’re not thinking about the statistics."
Freiburg may have lost 1-0 away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 1 but their performance perhaps deserved more. “It was like we were the home team and they were the visitors,” said Streich. “But we lacked a cutting edge up front.” That has not been a problem for the in-form Foals, who beat Sarajevo 7-0 during the week to reach the Europa League group stage after earning a point against Stuttgart last Sunday.
Freiburg have a marginal edge between these two, winning nine (to Gladbach’s seven) of the 26 league matches contested to date, with ten draws. This week's hosts are also unbeaten at home to the Foals in their last seven, winning six and drawing one, while the last 14 Bundesliga fixtures between the sides have failed to produce a single away win. SCF have scored the game’s first goal more often against Gladbach than have against any other side, taking the lead 16 times.
Freiburg: Bürki - Sorg, Krmas, Kempf, Günter - Schuster, Darida - Schmid, Klaus - Guede, Mehmedi
Gladbach: Sommer - Korb, Stranzl, Jantschke, Alvaro Dominguez - Kramer, Xhaka - Hahn, Traore - Raffael - Hrgota