Freiburg vs. Union Berlin: How do they stack up?

Freiburg and Union Berlin have been the 2 standout tales of the season to date, they usually do battle within the remaining sport earlier than the World Cup break with second place on the road.

Spirits are sky excessive in each the Black Forest and East Berlin, with Freiburg and Union nonetheless within the combine on the high of the desk.

The pair go into their remaining encounter of 2022 on Sunday stage on factors and, forward of the mouth-watering fixture, appears to be like at how the groups are poised as they battle to finish their unimaginable years on a excessive…

The season to date

Any Freiburg followers pinching themselves after the membership completed sixth final season have discovered themselves taken additional into dreamland. Christian Streich’s males have waltzed their method to a close to impeccable begin of their first full marketing campaign at their shiny new Europa-Park Stadion. A 3-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 5 put them high of the desk, they usually haven’t dropped out of the highest three since. They’re on an unbeaten run of 5 residence league video games and have taken their confidence and effectivity across the continent to beautiful impact – ending runaway winners of their UEFA Europa League group.

Freiburg’s first full season at their new Europa-Park Stadion is already proving to be a memorable one. – /

Remarkably, Union journey south with the very same factors tally (27) and variety of wins as Freiburg (eight). The much-loved aspect from the capital have additionally loved an autumn of superlatives. Union topped the Bundesliga for the primary time ever after Freiburg made means for them in Matchday 6 after a 1-0 win in Cologne. They arrange camp on the summit for six additional matchdays and are actually second behind Bayern Munich. Urs Fischer’s aspect additionally progressed from the Europa League group phases, and might look ahead to a tasty encounter with Ajax within the spring.

Stable foundations

Holding issues tight on the again has been the important thing to the 2 plucky challengers discovering their toes within the higher echelons of the desk. Either side have conceded 16 objectives – giving them the joint second-best defensive information after leaders Bayern.

Freiburg’s backline have conceded a measly one objective of their previous 5 residence video games. Germany internationals Christian Günter and Matthias Ginter are unmovable components of their sturdy again 4 – each have began all 14 matches this season. Exhausting graft has been the important thing element of Union’s defensive metal. Die Eisernen have lined extra floor than another aspect within the division and gained the second-most aerial duels. 5 clear sheets have resulted.

Watch: Freiburg went high by beating Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 5

Key gamers

The sensation of Freiburg being a membership stepping as much as the subsequent stage is not only based mostly on their lofty league place or new stadium. They managed to enhance their squad throughout the summer time, too. Having lengthy been thought to be a promoting membership, Nico Schlotterbeck was their solely star identify to depart this yr for Borussia Dortmund, whereas a particular sprinkle of attacking stardust arrived through their new signings. Michael Gregoritsch has been the highest-profile new addition, with the Austrian risk of a centre-forward nocking in 5 objectives and offering two assists already. Ritsu Doan and Daniel Kyereh have additionally chipped in with two objectives apiece.

The attacking chew has added an additional layer to Freiburg’s play, which stays grounded in a stable backbone. Mark Flekken operates as a dependent goalkeeper behind the composed defence. Vincenzo Grifo’s neat wing play has made him Freiburg’s high goalscorer for the previous two Bundesliga seasons, and he tops the inner scoring charts once more with six strikes to date this marketing campaign. Grifo and Günter are additionally dependable set-piece specialists, with Gregoritsch’s massive and agile body offering an important outlet for his or her deliveries.

Union go into the encounter with two extra objectives to their identify (23) than Freiburg. Jordan has proved to be a canny attacking signing from Younger Boys with three strikes to date. Having been dropped to the bench for the 2-2 draw in opposition to Augsburg in midweek and disregarded of the US Males’s Nationwide Crew squad for the World Cup, the frontman will probably be decided to grab his final probability to seek out the online earlier than the winter break.

Watch: Lethal Duo – Jordan and Becker

Sheraldo Becker slotted in a spectacular first within the Augsburg encounter for his seventh objective of the season. He has all of the tempo and trickery to provide the paltry Freiburg protection an actual take a look at – having recorded the joint third-highest pace from a Bundesliga participant this season. Rani Khedira has continued to be a secure presence within the heart of the sector for Union, with the form of consistency his older brother Sami could be pleased with. It stays to be seen how Die Eisernen will fare with him suspended this weekend. Behind him, Robin Knoche has offered a significant basis within the essential central place within the again three. Janik Haberer was launched from Freiburg on a free switch in the summertime however has settled in seamlessly in Berlin – and may fancy his possibilities of charging ahead from midfield to nick a objective in opposition to his former membership after hitting three already this season.

The coaches

Streich has served to additional underline his already legendary standing at Freiburg with the flying begin to the season. The longest-serving coach within the Bundesliga has impressed an actual assurance to his aspect’s play together with his clear concepts and plain speaking. He has sought to take the strain off his expenses and encourage them to take pleasure in their unprecedented home and European success – stressing that survival from relegation stays the primary goal for the common-or-garden Black Forest outfit. No matter the results of the top-four battle this Sunday, anticipate the trustworthy followers on the Europa-Park Stadion to make an important present of their affection for Streich of their remaining residence outing of the yr.

Additionally, you will battle to discover a Union fan with a foul phrase to say about Fischer. The understated Swiss coach has struck gold this season with a stable 3-5-2 formation and a technique based mostly on hustling opponents and direct attacking, together with a passion for peppering opposing defenses with lofted balls. His aspect have been comfortable to cede possession within the information they’ll nonetheless rattle technically stronger opponents. Having guided his aspect to a run of six away matches unbeaten between April and September, he’ll relish the problem of visiting a Freiburg aspect with the league’s finest residence defensive document (4 conceded).

Watch: How Union denied Freiburg a Champions League debut

Historical past

As two extremely likeable golf equipment with success based on loyal and affected person fanbases, anticipate loads of respect between the perimeters on Sunday. Freiburg followers might get a reminder of the sensation of what might need been when Union go to, nevertheless. They went into the final assembly, within the penultimate match of final season, in fourth place and in pole place to safe their first ever qualification for the UEFA Champions League. A bitter 4-1 defeat at residence to Union, regardless of having 71 p.c possession, closed the door on that specific dream and left Freiburg ending the season one spot behind Sunday’s opponents in sixth.

Freiburg haven’t gained of their final 4 conferences with Union, and have scored solely two objectives in these. It’s all set as much as be an intriguing remaining chapter in a yr to recollect for each golf equipment.

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