Following two domestic wins in succession on their travels, over 1. FC Nürnberg and Eintracht Braunschweig, and three games without conceding including Matchday 4’s 0-0 draw with FC Estoril Praia, Christian Streich’s men are eyeing a better showing than their 2-2 draw with Liberec on the opening Matchday.
'A confident mood'
Goalkeeper Oliver Baumann was in determined mood following the win in Braunschweig. “I hope that this win gives us more self-belief to take into the next game, and that we can go onto the pitch in a confident mood”. However, continentally, things haven’t been on as upward a curve as they have in the Bundesliga.
The 2-2 draw with Liberec was followed by defeat on the road against Sevilla CF, before a pair of draws home and away against FC Estoril Praia has left Freiburg three points behind their hosts in third place. “We want to qualify for the next stage of the Europa League, and we know a win is essential to keep things in our own hands,” added assistant coach Lars Voßler. “That’s our goal, and we want to build upon the confidence from the Braunschweig win.”
Freiburg, however, have an array of personnel problems with which to contend. Key midfielder Jonathan Schmid is out with cruciate ligament trouble, while summer signing Vladimir Darida misses out on a return to his native land after abdominal problems. Additionally, Nicholas Höfler and Karim Guede are suspended against an opponent Voßler describes as “very strong on the counter-attack, and who very rarely lose”.
Although Darida is out, Freiburg still travel to the Czech Republic with two men who know the conditions intimately: both Vaclav Pilar and Pavel Krmas hail from Germany’s south-eastern neighbour. Indeed, Krmas had some words of wisdom for the 1,300 hardy souls travelling from the Black-Forest to Liberec: “Wrap up warm.”
FC Slovan Liberec: Hrosso - Kelic, Pavelka, Rybalka, Frydek - Sackey, Kovac, Rabusic, Sural - Fleisman - Delarge
SC Freiburg: Baumann - Sorg, Günter, Diagne, Ginter - Pilar, Schuster, Fernandes, Coquelin - Mehmedi - Hanke