Nico Schlotterbeck is out as Freiburg intends to consolidate third place in the Bundesliga table when they face Masaya Okugawa and Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday (kick off 3:30 p.m. CET).
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Freiburg enjoyed a productive December, knocking out seven of 12 possible points before the winter break to place five behind Borussia Dortmund in second halfway through. A late 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen last time underscored the confidence and quality of Christian Streich’s squad, and they will be determined to show that once again against a Bielefeld squad they have had struggling to overcome lately: the teams drew 0-0. on the first day, while Arminia had won 1-0 in the previous meeting. Streich, the league’s longest-serving head coach who recently celebrated his 10th anniversary at the helm, has lost a number of players on the eve of the game with Mark Flekken, Nico Schlotterbeck and Kiliann Sildillia all missing.
The winter break arguably came at the wrong time for Bielefeld, who won consecutive Bundesliga games for the first time this season just before the break, with just six teams taking more points than Frank Kramer’s side since. beginning of November. They remain in the automatic relegation spots in 17th place, although absolute safety is only two points away so Arminia will look to build on their momentum into the new year. Kramer, however, is without midfielder Fabian Kunze and striker Fabian Klos due to suspension, meaning even greater responsibility will fall on the team’s top scorer Okugawa, five goals. Captain Manuel Prietl is absent again.
look: Freiburg came third at the halfway point with a victory over Leverkusen
- Schlotterbeck won 67.11% of his challenges – the second best rate in the division. His 199 duels won place him fourth, with his teammate Lucas Höler in the lead with 235.
- Freiburg’s second-best Bundesliga Hindu in history saw Streich’s men enter the winter break in third place.
- Matchday 17’s victory against Leverkusen was Streich’s 100th in the Bundesliga in charge of Freiburg.
- With their recent victories against Bochum and Leipzig, Arminia has secured back-to-back Bundesliga wins for the first time since being promoted in 2020.
- Okugawa has scored four goals in his last seven Bundesliga games and is Arminia’s top scorer with five goals.
- Kramer’s side have scored twice away for the first time this season in the 2-0 win on Matchday 17 at Leipzig.
Freiburg: Uphoff – Kübler, Lienhart, K. Schlotterbeck, Günter (c) – Haberer, Höfler – Sallai, Jeong, Grifo – Höler
Subscribers: Atubolu, Gulde, Schmid, Eggestein, Demirovic, Keitel, Petersen, Schade, Weißhaupt
Outside: Flekken (not included), Keitel (groin), N. Schlotterbeck (not included), Sildillia (not included)
Coach: Christian streich
Bielefeld: Ortega – Brunner (c), Pieper, Nilsson, Andrade – Schöpf, Vasiliadis – Wimmer, Okugawa, Krüger – Serra
Subscribers: Kapino, Ramos, Laursen, Czyborra, Castro, Lasme, Hack, Fernandes, Cherny
Outside: De Medina (illness), Klos (suspended), Kunze (suspended), Prietl (fitness match)
Coach: Frank kramer