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Jan 22, 2022 at 2.30pm UK at Mage-Solar-Stadion
2 - 0
Ito (37' og.), Schade (72')
Hofler (24')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Sosa (90+4')

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

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

Saturday's Bundesliga action includes a Baden-Schwaben-Derby between neighbours Freiburg and Stuttgart, with the pair set to do battle at the Europa-Park Stadion.

The hosts bounced back from a thumping defeat last weekend by progressing in the DFB-Pokal with a big win themselves in midweek, whilst the visitors remain in trouble at the wrong end of the table following a winless four-game spell.

Match preview

After being hammered 5-1 at Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park last Friday evening, the wheels to Freiburg's season looked to have well and truly fallen off.

The damaging defeat at their second-placed opponents followed a disappointing draw at home to relegation-threatened Arminia Bielefeld on the return from the Bundesliga's winter break on the prior weekend.

Those two setbacks have seen Christian Streich's men fall to sixth in the table, with their record-breaking start to the season in danger of falling apart.

Following a 10-game unbeaten league run to begin the 2021-22 campaign, Saturday's hosts have since won two, drawn two and lost five in the nine Bundesliga games that have followed, and that has meant that their unlikely push for a Champions League place has now turned into a fight for European football of any kind.

Streich's side do remain just two points off Bayer Leverkusen in third place heading into matchday 20, but with just five points separating Leverkusen from Mainz 05 in 10th place, Freiburg find themselves in the midst of an almighty battle for the top six in Germany.

As a result, more dropped points on Saturday could see Freiburg drop several places in the table, but their response to the Dortmund defeat was an excellent display at fellow European-hopefuls Hoffenheim in midweek.

A brace from Vincenzo Grifo, and further goals from Kevin Schade and Ermedin Demirovic, saw Freiburg demolish their hosts and book their place in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal in the process, whilst serving a reminder of the excellent side that remains from the one that started the campaign so brightly.

Meanwhile, Stuttgart head to their rivals on Saturday looking to overcome them for the first time in six Bundesliga meetings.

A 1-0 victory over Freiburg was recorded in last season's DFB-Pokal, but Pellegrino Matarazzo's side will be eager to stop the rot of three consecutive league defeats against their neighbours.

As well as bragging rights in the region, Die Roten are also desperate for the three points for other reasons, with the visitors heading to the Europa-Park Stadion on the back of four winless matches in the Bundesliga, all of which they have failed to score in as well.

Last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at home to RB Leipzig was the latest of the disappointing results of late, but whilst the result was not ideal, the performance was at least an improvement on recent poor displays by Matarazzo's men.

In fact, Stuttgart recorded over two times the amount of shots and efforts on target compared to Leipzig, but quality finishing turned out to be the difference against the giants.

As a result of the defeat, as well as Arminia Bielefeld's point on Sunday, Stuttgart begin the weekend inside the relegation zone with 18 points from their 19 games so far, but still just a single point away from safety.

With just one win being picked up from their previous nine away games this season, another improved display will be required on Saturday if Stuttgart are to defeat their rivals and lift themselves out of the drop zone in the process.

Freiburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

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

Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Team News

Whilst Nico Schlotterbeck should return to the defence following his return from COVID-19 in midweek, his brother Keven Schlotterbeck remains absent through illness until the end of the month for Freiburg.

First-choice goalkeeper Mark Flekken also returned from COVID against Hoffenheim, but Kiliann Sildillia is expected to remain sidelined because of the virus.

Following the thoroughly comprehensive display on Wednesday, Streich could opt to name an unchanged starting 11, which would see Demirovic start just his third Bundesliga game of the campaign.

As for the visitors, left wing-back Borna Sosa returned to training earlier this week following a muscle injury, and he will be pushing to regain his place from Nikolas Nartey in the side.

Omar Marmoush remains at the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt, Erik Thommy is ruled out with a thigh strain and Mohamed Sankoh is out for the season due to his serious knee injury.

Wahid Faghir and Silas Katompa Mvumpa are both expected to miss out as well due to COVID-19.

Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Kubler, Lienhart, N Schlotterbeck, Gunter; Schade, Eggestein, Hofler, Grifo; Holer, Demirovic

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Muller; Mavropanos, Anton, Ito; Massimo, Endo, Mangala, Sosa; Fuhrich, Forster; Kalajdzic

We say: Freiburg 2-0 Stuttgart

We are predicting Stuttgart's struggles to continue against their rivals on Saturday, with the Europa-Park Stadion a difficult destination for most sides, never mind one in such poor form like Stuttgart are.

Freiburg will have been massively boosted by their big win in midweek, and that should provide them with the confidence to return to winning ways in the Bundesliga against their neighbours.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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.Over 2.5:data

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