Aiming to pick up points at BORUSSIA-PARK

First Team

SC are in action away at Borussia Mönchengladbach on matchday 27 in the Bundesliga on Saturday (15:30 CET).

It’s the first game since it was revealed that Christian Streich would be stepping down as head coach in the summer. Naturally, there were a few questions regarding Streich’s decision at the press conference before the away game in Mönchengladbach. He mentioned: “When everyone found out – following my video and the message to the team – things continued as normal straight away. I had repeatedly been asking myself the question ‘What next?’ for a long time. It now feels like the right time for me to stop. I believe that a change is good for the club now. We now need to put all sentimentality aside and focus on the remaining eight games.”

The first of those takes SC to Mönchengladbach. It’s the same situation for SC as it is for lots of other clubs: Some players were away with their national teams and gradually started to arrive back in Freiburg from various countries on Wednesday, with the only day for a full training session together being Friday. “I can’t say how we’ll play yet today: Tomorrow we’ve got the only training session, in which we can work on something tactical together,” Streich explained. All the internationals featured on the pitch during the international break, whilst Streich was particularly pleased with Attila Szalai’s game time: “It’s great that he played twice. He’s been a bit unfortunate with us recently.”

Taking on the draw kings

The SCF coaching staff will have to make defensive alterations ahead of the game at BORUSSIA-PARK. Matthias Ginter (Achilles tendon injury) and Philipp Lienhart, who previously missed Austria’s two international games with knee problems, will both likely miss out. Noah Weißhaupt (ankle injury) will also be unavailable. Roland Sallai is also suffering from adductor issues. Maximilian Eggestein, who extended his contract this week, is back available again after serving a suspension in the last Bundesliga game against Bayer Leverkusen.

Streich noted the opponent’s strengths going forward. “Gladbach are a very good team in attack. Four goals against Wolfsburg, five against Bochum, and they scored three against us. We have to defend with concentration and intelligence, and pick the right options on the ball.” The opponents’ statistics show that as well as being good going forward, they’ve shared the points often. The Foals have played out ten draws this season – the most in the division. Their last three Bundesliga games against Mainz, Köln and Hoffenheim have all ended level.

A significant problem that Borussia have is that they have thrown away leads on 11 occasions (six draws, five defeats). The last four games between SC and Gladbach have all ended level. SCF were 3-1 down at half time in the reverse fixture in Freiburg, but they came back to rescue a point in injury time thanks to goals from Noah Weißhaupt and Vincenzo Grifo. “They’re a team who never give up,” said Borussia head coach Gerardo Seoane ahead of the upcoming game.

This time too, “the team are of course aiming to pick up points,” said Streich. That’s because SC can potentially either move a few places up or fall a few places down in the table. “It’s all very tight from seventh place downwards,” stressed Streich.

Photo: Achim Keller

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