Matchday 4: Unbeaten SC Freiburg welcome an equally in-form 1. FC Köln side to the Dreisamstadion on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CEST).
While SC Freiburg went the first three games of the season unbeaten, winning 2-1 against Dortmund, 3-2 against Stuttgart and drawing 0-0 to Bielefeld, the Billy Goats of Cologne are just one point behind having beaten Hertha (3-1) and Bochum (2-1) and narrowly losing to champions FC Bayern (3-2). A considerably strong start to the season for both teams.
The previous results are not the only positives to take into the second home game of the season – the second last at the Dreisamstadion – Christian Streich and Co. can be just as pleased with the team’s performances: "The team has a great togetherness and a strong sense of community. I get the feeling that we have stability and I don’t think that will change if we lose a game," said the boss.
The Breisgau boys used the international break to play a friendly against Zurich, which they turned around to win 3-2 after going 2-0 down. The coaching team is now left with the decision of how to integrate those players returning from international duty ahead of this Saturday’s league game. A tricky situation for the coaches, not least because of how well the players performed in the friendly. "The lads played really well against Zurich," said Streich, "We will decide soon how to proceed with the internationals. That fact that they are returning from duty so late makes it even harder for us."
Köln’s strong start to the season adds tension to Saturday’s fixture: "They’ve thoroughly deserved the six points they have, it could even be more," said Streich, who is expecting an "incredibly intense encounter and a confident opposition."
For SCF, it will be particularly important to keep up with Köln’s intensity from start to finish, according to Streich, in order to combat the visitor’s energy-sapping game. The 10,000 Freiburg fans in the sold-out Dreisamstadion will also help the cause: "There won’t be a moment’s rest, which will be great for the spectators," said Streich.
Jonathan Schmid will definitely be unavailable on Saturday with a coronavirus infection. Nicolas Höfler (bruised foot) and Ermedin Demirovic (infection) are both doubts.