Grit and determination needed for clash against Frankfurt

First Team

On matchday 22 of the Bundesliga season, SC Freiburg will host Eintracht Frankfurt at the Europa-Park Stadion on Sunday afternoon (15:30 CET).

Head coach Christian Streich praised his side’s “shrewd” and “disciplined” performance against RC Lens in the Europa League. Despite the fact that the clash in France ended 0-0, SCF were markedly better compared to their away match against Borussia Dortmund last weekend and Streich described their performance as “classy”. The 58-year-old caused a stir before kick-off, as he employed a new-look defence with Yannik Keitel as the central defender in a three-man backline for the play-off game. Keitel couldn’t hide his delight in the post-match interview and grinned as he stated that he’s “happy”. The 24-year-old’s impressive display has certainly put him in strong contention to play in his new role once again when Freiburg take on Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend.

In addition to centre-backs Philipp Lienhart and Matthias Ginter, Merlin Röhl will be unavailable for the game against the Eagles. The 21-year-old, who was in the starting XI for the clash with Lens, is still suspended after being sent off against VfB Stuttgart on matchday 20.

Maximilian Eggestein captained the side in Lens and expressed his satisfaction with SC’s performance. Freiburg’s Mr. Reliable emphasised the differences between the Europa League outing and the last three Bundesliga games, which all ended in defeat for SCF. “We’re a good team when we show our mettle.” Eggestein is hoping that SC will play with the same “grit” when they face off against Frankfurt. “We’ll need it, because Frankfurt are also a side that like to get their hands dirty. It’ll be a match between two really good teams.”

Looking to turn things around

SGE were also involved in continental competition on Thursday, as they took on Royal Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa Conference League. It was a frustrating evening for Dino Toppmöller’s men, as they forfeited a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 and were a man down for the last ten minutes of the clash.

Just like SCF, Frankfurt have been struggling for form in the Bundesliga of late. Toppmöller lamented his side’s missed opportunities in their draw against VfL Bochum last weekend. “We had enough chances. We’ve got to take them.” The 43-year-old was pleased with the “energy and power” that his team showed, which they sorely missed in their 2-0 defeat to strugglers FC Köln at the start of the month.

Freiburg and Frankfurt find themselves in a similar situation heading into matchday 22. Both teams played away from home in Europe during the week and drew the first leg, while they have each struggled for form recently in the league. Keitel, of course, is hoping that his side will be the happier one on Sunday afternoon.


Photo: Achim Keller




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