bundesliga.com has the lowdown from both camps ahead of Matchday 32’s curtain-raiser…
An archetypal relegation six-pointer, Friday’s clash will go a long way to determining both sides' fate in 2014/15. However, while HSV are riding high under Bruno Labbadia after successive victories, Freiburg are in desperate need of picking up their first three points of the season against an outfit currently in the bottom five.
The Red Shorts’ form since head coach Bruno Labbadia took over is all the more impressive when taking the club’s lengthy injury list into account. Nicolai Müller (r.) became the latest casualty after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the 2-1 win in Mainz, meaning he’ll join Cleber, Valon Behrami and Ivo Ilicevic on the sidelines.
Question marks remain in relation to the fitness levels of three first-team regulars Oliver Sorg (l., groin), Mike Frantz (ankle) and Nils Petersen (muscle), who all had to be brought off after picking up knocks in the costly 2-1 reverse against SC Paderborn 07. Top goalscorer Petersen is, however, the most likely to recover in time.
If HSV are to maintain their momentum, Pierre-Michel Lasogga (r.) will likely have to carry the goalscoring burden. The 23-year-old, whose strikes in the relegation play-off saved HSV last season, only has four goals to his name in 2014/15, but remains a constant threat as proven by his two-goal salvo in the 3-2 win over FC Augsburg.
Nils Petersen (l.) appears to have rediscovered his goalscoring boots having scored seven goals in nine game for the side he joined in January, including each of Freiburg’s last three Bundesliga strikes. The striker has averaged a goal every 66 minutes and, should he prove his fitness in time, will be key to the visitors chances.
Bruno Labbadia (r.): “Everything will be demanded of us. We can cope only if we perform with absolute team unity.”
Heiko Westermann: “It’s a huge opportunity for us. We’ve been playing as a real unit in the last three game. That’s down to the coach.”
Christian Streich (l.): “We’re going to Hamburg and will try to win in Hamburg. I don’t know if we’ll pull it off, but if we produce a good performance we’re capable of it. I’m convinced of that. It’s not like Hamburg are unbeatable now just because they’ve won their last two games.”
Hamburg haven’t won three consecutive league fixtures since the 2010/11 campaign (MD17-19), but have reason to believe they can on home soil where they’ve collected 19 of their 31 points this season. Freiburg, meanwhile, have only picked up four of a possible 18 points against their fellow bottom five incumbents.
Freiburg have ended 15 out of 31 Matchdays in the bottom three, but boast a good record against HSV with Christian Streich in charge (W2, 3D). The home side haven't won in the last eight meetings between these two sides, though it’s Hamburg who boast the historical edge with 13 wins to Freiburg seven in 31 encounters.
Hamburg: Adler - Westermann, Djourou, Rajkovic, Ostrzolek - Kacar, van der Vaart - Stieber, Holtby, Olic - Lasogga
Freiburg: Bürki - Riether, Krmas, Mitrovic, Günter - Schuster, Darida - Schmid, Klaus - Petersen, Mehmedi