Two Coaches - One Attitude
Back in April 2013, on a cool spring evening, Borussia Dortmund celebrated a win, that should enter the history books as "The Miracle of Dortmund". Within only two minutes of stoppage time, BVB turned the match around, defeated Malaga 3-2 and made it to the semi-finals. Admirable was not only the huge effort of players and supporters, but also the statements of Christian Streich, the coach of SC Freiburg - our next opponent. Nearly surgical he pointed out, what defines the Black and Yellow mentality. "Do you know why I believed in Dortmund? Because this is Dortmund and it's this special mentality. It's obvious that they couldn't have won, but why am I saying this? There exist teams and constellations, in which it's only over, when the referee blows the final whistle," Christian Streich said. "There is no depression, for sure they didn't play well, but there is no doubt of anything, it's useless to doubt [...] if you want to achieve great things in football, you often reach them within the last seconds."
Words (in charming "Badisch") that have been burned into my mind. I would not go so far as to say, that I fell in love with Christian Streich, but his respectful words probably were the initial spark for changing my viewing angle towards him and SC Freiburg. Not only his emotional attitude next to the pitch, but also the (compelled) strategy of the whole club - producing high footballing quality with nearly insufficient funds - at least led to a respectful dealing with the Sportclub from Southern Baden.
Indeed, SC Freiburg struggles at the moment, the reason is easy to find. With Makiadi, Caligiuri, Kruse, Flum and Rosenthal five key players, who led SC Freiburg to Europa League, left the club. Ten new signings have to be gently accustom themselves to Freiburg's hard-running and ambitious style of play. Right now they are second to the last, with only three points (three tied matches) out of six matches. Nevertheless, they lost their matches under bad circumstances and did not capitulate in any second. The result of Wednesdays' cup match against VfB Stuttgart (2-1) shows an rising tendency. The position in the league does actually not reflect the potential, that the squad of SC Freiburg has.
One small anecdote has to be told. When Borussia Dortmund defeated FC Bayern München in DFB-Pokal final in 2012, it was Christian Streich who stood only a few steps away from the Black and Yellow stands. If the impossible should happen in the future - Jürgen Klopp leaves Borussia Dortmund - Christian Streich is probably the coach, I'm recommending the most. Until then: Welcome to Dortmund SC Freiburg! Welcome to Dortmund Christian Streich!
Black and Yellow Situation
The injury list of Borussia Dortmund still includes key players, that are missed badly. Ilkay Gündogan (back trouble), Lukas Piszczek (hip), as well as Sebastian Kehl (ankle) are still not able to play. "Ilkay is still only able to go jogging," coach Jürgen Kopp said on yesterday's media conference. "It's an inflammation. As we all know you can't argue it away, but just have to wait. You have to proceed cautiously. In fact, Ilkay is getting a bit impatient. At least it will take ten more days." Fortunately there was no other player who sustained an injury from the match against TSV 1860 München. Marcel Schmelzer, who had some problems with his hamstring, is likely to return into the squad.
Asked on his opinion about Sportclub Freiburg and Christian Streich, Klopp replied: "By now they haven't gained that much points, but the club as well as Streich and his player scouts have done an amazing job. They play really flexible and signed a lot of good players. Mike Hanke fits in perfect." Especially the cup match against VfB Stuttgart on Wednesday impressed Klopp: "They are really hard-running, it's going to be an intense match. Last campaign (BVB 5-1 SCF), we also didn't look forward to our opponent Freiburg. It's going to be a tough match. I would take every result, that guarantees three points."
Nevertheless, Jürgen Klopp does not expect a smiliar tactic, as TSV 1860 München used on Tuesday. "Freiburg ran a lot of kilometers during the match against VfB Stuttgart, the whole XI defends. They are really disciplined. As long as they have stamina, they're playing really well. Our problem on Tuesday was, that 1860 München didn't change its defensive formation, although they were in posession of the ball. Freiburg's transition is really intense, but if you manage to get posession of the ball in these moments, you get space for your own attacks. It won't be possible to compare these two matches."
As a last point, nearly in the same way as Christian Streich spoke of Borussia Dortmund back in April, Jürgen Klopp praised Streich and his work: "I cannot say much about his character due to the fact, that I've never eaten dinner with him, but I appreciate his skills. They play really well and didn't have an easy situation after the last campaign. It's been a huge challenge but they made it through. They do a brilliant job and I'm sure, that we would be able to talk the whole evening."
A quite peaceful atmosphere surrounds the upcoming match, nevertheless: Three points belong to us!
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer (Durm) - Bender, Sahin - Blaszczykowski (Reus), Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang - Lewandowski.
Substitute's Bench: Langerak - Kirch, Günter, Durm, Sokratis, Reus, Hofmann, Ducksch, Schieber.
SC Freiburg: Baumann - Sorg, Diagne, Ginter, Günter - Fernandes, Schuster - Schmid, Kerk - Freis, Hanke.
Substitute's Bench: Batz - Coquelin, Guedé, Höfler, Höhn, Jullien, Klaus, Krmas, Mehmedi, Zuck.
Referee: Schmidt (Stuttgart)
Kickoff: 28th of September 2013 - 3.30. p.m. CET.
Attendance: Westfalenstadion - 80,645 (sold out)
7th Matchday Bets: You vs the Editor's
Today: Feras from Coventry vs DerJungeMitDemBall from Schwatzgelb.com
Augsburg - Gladbach 1-2 / 1-2
BVB - Freiburg 2-0 / 3-0
FC Bayern - Wolfsburg 3-0 / 3-1
Leverkusen - Hannover 2-0 / 4-1
Hoffenheim - Scha*ke 2-1 / 1-1
Berlin - Mainz 1-1 / 1-1
Frankfurt - Hamburg 2-2 / 3-1
Bremen - Nürnberg 1-1 / 1-2
Braunschweig - Stuttgart 1-2 / 0-2