“A nice but tough challenge at the Betzenberg”

First Team

In the first round of the cup, SC Freiburg will face second-division side 1. FC Kaiserslautern away from home (Sunday, 15:30 CEST).

Two months have passed since the first cup final in the club’s history. And even though the memories of the trip to Berlin are still vivid, the team and coaching staff have inevitably been looking ahead to the up-and-coming season since the beginning of pre-season. “The cup is a great competition that we have been able to experience the highlight of in Berlin. We’re looking forward to Sunday. I’m very curious to see how we turn up, but I expect that the boys will be ready to go from the first minute”, says Christian Streich.

With the cup, the league, the Europa League and the winter break starting as early as November, the fixture list for the squad is packed. During the comparatively short summer break, it was, therefore, crucial to lay the foundations for another successful season. “We worked a lot on video analysis – also for the newcomers, so that they know right away what is required of them. I can’t complain with our preparation” explains the boss.

The first big hurdle is already on the horizon with the first competitive game of the season this Sunday. The trip in the first round of the cup sees SC take on second-division Kaiserslautern, who have started this season strongly following their promotion last season. “It’s a nice but tough challenge. We have to be extremely lively going into duels with a presence high up the pitch, and good communication amongst ourselves,” demanded Streich, adding “it’s important that we only concentrate on our opponents and what happens on the pitch – regardless of what’s happening off the pitch.”

That is because it could well get very loud on Sunday in front of 50,000 fans. Nevertheless, the longest serving coach in the league is looking forward to the atmosphere at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion: “The Betzenberg is loud. It has a large capacity. Their fans are euphoric about their promotion and strong start. Now, naturally, they want to spring a surprise and knock us out; every single fan wants to contribute to that.” Freiburg will also be able to rely upon their supporters away from home, just like last season. 5,000 Freiburg fans will be there on Sunday to rival the home crowd.

The injured Kevin Schade and Lucas Höler won’t feature in the first round. Roland Sallai and Michael Gregoritsch, on the other hand, have returned to team training and could feature against Kaiserslautern.

Photo: SC Freiburg

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