Werder travel south this weekend to face SC Freiburg at 15:30 on Saturday afternoon. Freiburg have been under head coach Christian Streich for many years and remain as passionate as ever about him. Werder head to Freiburg looking to continue their run of two consecutive Bundesliga wins but will no doubt be up against a tough Freiburg team when they two sides emerge on Saturday afternoon.
Previous encounters: These two sides have already met twice in the current season; the first of which being on matchday 6 in the Weserstadion, which ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw. Nevertheless the second tie of this season did not disappoint when they met in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal. Werder again had the home advantage and used it to the full going 1-0 up inside the opening minutes through Ishak Bellfodil, with Florian Kainz making it 2-0 inside 20 minutes. However the guests did not roll over, scoring before the first half was out with a penalty, converted by Nils Petersen. After the break, the game became a classic cup tie with end-to-end chances, which made Philipp Bargfrede’s goal even more important just 20 minutes before the end. Freiburg were able to get a cancelation goal on 86 minutes but the game was all but dead, with Werder progressing to the next round 3-2.
Florian Kohfeldt on the upcoming away match: “For sure there will be times when we need to sit tight. It will be a tough battle out there on the pitch,” explained Kohfeldt, as he said a top-quality performance would be needed to beat a passionate Freiburg side but also that the Werder players must get the basics right. Tactically, the Werder head coach is expecting a very versatile opponent; “At this point in time, I have no idea how they’re going to play; be it a 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or even a 3-5-2.” It is therefore vital that the Werder players be able to adapt to how their opponents set up in front of them, “The good news is that we have enough good players to be able to fill the positions we need,” said Kohfeldt. “Freiburg play good football and hold possession well. Up top they have Nils Petersen; a player capable of making you pay for any lapses in concentration. We are still in the middle of a relegation battle and so can’t afford to be careless,” said Kohfeldt confident that his boys can continue creeping up the table.
The good news and the bad: In the pre-match press conference Florian Kohfeldt announced the good news regarding Jiri Pavlenka, Aron Jóhannsson and Philipp Bargrede, who will all be available for selection on Saturday. However, captain Zlatko Junuzovic has not been able to take part in first team training, “For Juno, Saturday is just a bit too early. His muscle problem is not anything major but we don’t want to risk him, so he will sit this one out,” explained Kohfeldt.
Four players must be careful: Four players sit on four yellow cards this season and are therefore just one away from a cumulative suspension. For Bremen, Bargfrede, Kainz and Robert Bauer all sit dangerously close to a one-match ban, while for Freiburg it is just Caglar Söyüncü who must play with that extra bit of caution.
Two birds with one stone: Two statistics must be noticed prior to Saturday's match, as Werder sit on 249 Bundesliga away wins while Freiburg sit on 99 home defeats. So, Freiburg, how about we try and reach those milestones?