On Sunday evening, yet another double gameweek comes to an end for SC, with the team travelling to the Mewa Arena to take on 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Bundesliga matchday 25.
Christian Streich didn’t have many words ahead of the away game in Mainz. Understandable, considering the last 16 second leg in the Europa League against Juventus was just under an hour in the past for him and his team. Still, with a small note on what the team achieved just prior: “At one point, I looked at the scoreboard and it said 6:1 corners for us. It was unbelievable how Juve defended. It’s in their genes, it’s trained in Italy until you can’t do any more,” Streich turned his attention to the game in Mainz. “I’m happy that we were able to have this experience and with how the boys did,” summarised Streich shortly after the end of SCF’s European journey. “But now comes everday life again – and it will be as tough as it comes in Mainz on Sunday.”
Mainz strong at home in the second half of the season
“Mainz will go at us on Sunday like there’s so tomorrow. They’ll play with unbelievable power because they know what we achieved in Turin,” said Streich, assessing Freiburg’s upcoming opponents. The 57-year-old does have an idea, however, of how Christian Günter and his teammates will able to deal with this: “For us it is about gathering all of our strength and fighting back. If they then still manage to pick us off but we fought against it, then so be it.”
Streich has good reasons for his evaluation, with Mainz currently maintaining an 100% record at home in the second half of the season and celebrating their fifth home win in a row against Hoffenheim. This is reflected in the table, with Bo Svensson’s side currently occupying seventh-place. Svensson himself also threw praise in SC’s direction. “Freiburg can come out of the game against Juve with their heads held high, they gave a good account of themselves. If you look, they’ve had to deal with competing in difficult games in the Bundesliga only three days after playing in the Europa League for almost the whole season and have often come through that test very well,” emphasised Mainz’s Danish head coach.
Günter and Ginter called up to Germany national team
Despite lots of games in the last few weeks, the squad situation at SC remains largely relaxed. A good recovery period before the game in Mainz is important, with only the availability of Philipp Lienhart then in question. “But we still have a bit of hope for Sunday,” said the head coach and referred with a laugh to the “good doctor”. After the game against Mainz most of the players will then have a few days to recover with the Bundesliga going into the international break. Christian Günter and Matthias Ginter, meanwhile, will link up with the Germany squad having been called up by head coach Hansi Flick. SC then resume in the league on 1st April with a home game against Hertha BSC.
Photo: SC Freiburg