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Aug 6, 2022 at 2.30pm UK at WWK Arena
0 - 4
FT(HT: 0-0)
Gregoritsch (46'), Grifo (48'), Ginter (61'), Doan (78')

Preview: Augsburg vs. Freiburg - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Augsburg vs. Freiburg - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Augsburg and Freiburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Following a remarkable year of over-achievement, Freiburg return to Bundesliga action on Saturday, as they visit Augsburg on the opening weekend of the 2022-23 season.

Finishing eight places above their hosts last term, the visitors beat the Bavarians both home and away, so will seek to extend their dominance in this fixture.

Match preview

Though it ultimately ended in bitter disappointment, by losing out to RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal final, a brilliant 2021-22 campaign has lifted the ambitions of a Freiburg side thriving under the management of Christian Streich.

After enjoying one of the most successful seasons in their history, the Black Forest club's first competitive fixture since that penalty shootout defeat came at Fritz-Walter-Stadion last Sunday, where they took on Kaiserslautern in the first round of the Pokal.

With their opponents still riding the crest of a wave following promotion back to the 2. Bundesliga, it took a late equaliser and extra time to see off the 1998 German champions - Roland Sallai and Ritsu Doan providing the necessary goals.

Freiburg's quest for a first-ever major trophy therefore remains alive, and they now resume league action after last term's excellent sixth-place finish.

Streich, who has been in charge at the Breisgau-based club since 2011, now has a Europa League campaign to look forward to as a result, and preparations have progressed smoothly throughout the summer.

Going unbeaten during pre-season - posting notable wins over Rennes and Rayo Vallecano in the process - demonstrates his squad's readiness to overcome the loss of defensive rock Nico Schlotterbeck to Borussia Dortmund and prosper again in the coming months.

While their opening day opponents fell just short of a top-four finish last season, Augsburg's campaign proved far more of a struggle, and they ended up only five points above the bottom three in May.

By way of response, the club's board appointed former Borussia Dortmund coach Enrico Maassen as their new head coach, replacing Markus Weinzierl, whose second spell in charge came to a conclusion earlier this summer.

Maassen previously led Dortmund's Under-23s into the 3. Liga and arrives in Bavaria with a burgeoning reputation, so will be keen to make a bright start to life in the top flight.

His competitive debut in the dugout went to plan last weekend, as Die Fuggerstadter thumped Regionalliga minnows BW Lohne 4-0 in the DFB-Pokal first round, following a mixed bag of results in pre-season.

Augsburg's hopes of a fast start to Bundesliga proceedings, though, are not aided by the fixture list throwing up first-day opposition who they have failed to defeat in their last seven attempts. Indeed, last season's losses mean that they have been beaten four times by Freiburg during that spell.

Augsburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Freiburg form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Though Augsburg are faced with a long injury list before the new Bundesliga season begins, they have secured some summer signings that can step into the breach on Saturday.

Ermedin Demirovic has joined from this week's visitors, and after making his debut in the DFB-Pokal, the Bosnian striker could join USA international Ricardo Pepi up front. The latter scored 13 MLS goals for hometown club FC Dallas in 2021, but has not managed either a goal or assist in 11 matches since moving to Germany in January.

Another new boy, midfielder Elvis Rexhbecaj could start too, as Niklas Dorsch is still out for several weeks with a broken toe.

Ruben Vargas and Reece Oxford also remain doubtful due to injury, but both could be involved at some stage; however, Lasse Gunther (thigh), Lukas Petkov (ankle), Noah Sarenren Bazee (ACL) and Tobias Strobl (knee) are all ruled out.

Meanwhile Freiburg's injury concerns are far fewer, as only forward pair Lucas Holer and Kevin Schade are definitely sidelined on the opening day.

Christian Streich named a strong team against Kaiserslautern last week, and could field a similar starting XI in Bavaria, which would see league debuts for Matthias Ginter, Ritsu Doan and Austria striker Michael Gregoritsch.

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Gouweleeuw, Uduokhai, Bauer; Caligiuri, Maier, Gruezo, Rexhbecaj, Iago; Pepi, Demirovic

Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Siquet, Ginter, Lienhart, Gunter; Hofler, Eggestein; Sallai, Doan, Grifo; Gregoritsch

We say: Augsburg 1-2 Freiburg

Not known for being particularly prolific, Augsburg may need to score more than once if they are to get anything from a tough opening match against upwardly mobile opponents. Given Freiburg's recent supremacy in this fixture, too, the visitors are set to start off with a win.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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