Football finally returns to Signal Iduna Park after a fortnight break, with the visit of SC Freiburg who sit seventh in the table, just a point behind Dortmund. The BVB squad sadly suffered a big blow with the injury suffered by Robert Lewandowski last Friday. The top-scorer tore a calf muscle in the dying moments of Poland’s World Cup Qualifying win over Montenegro and will be out until February.
Mario Götze is still recovering from his broken ankle, and right-back Andreas Beck – the only player to start every match this season – will miss the next three weeks after suffering a strained back during a training weights session last week. Julian Koch will deputise for Beck, while Ivan Perisic will likely start ahead of Dennis Praet as the young Belgian may be rested. Julian Schieber looks probable to start upfront, though Viktor Fischer’s goal-scoring exploits for Denmark U21s may offer an alternative.
Sport-Club Freiburg e.V. are enjoying their fifth consecutive season in the German top flight since their promotion in 2009, having finished 14th, 12th and 9th twice in the last four years, and currently sit 7th with just one defeat in their seven matches.
They were awarded a UEFA Europa League spot this season after Germany were allocated an additional qualifier through the Fair Play system but lost in the Playoffs to Belgian club Genk.
The club won their opening three league games to sit top of the table, but then drew three in a row before losing at Wolfsburg a fortnight ago. Freiburg have only conceded six goals this season, which gives them one of the best records in the league, but have only found the back of the net 10 times.
Freiburg will be without left midfielders Daniel Royer (groin) and Daniel Caligiuri (broken arm) tomorrow, while right-back Mensur Mujdza may face a late fitness test after a clash of heads on international duty with Bosnia earlier this week.
Ref: Peter Gagelmann (Bremen)
Weather: Dry, 9°C
Last season Dortmund won both matches, winning 4-0 at home and 2-0 away. Of the four different goalscorers last season, only Sven Bender will take to the pitch tomorrow with the injuries to Lewandowski and Götze, and the departure of Sebastian Kehl in the summer.
Referee tomorrow will be Peter Gagelmann, who takes charge of his third Bundesliga game this season and travels from Bremen after refereeing Azerbaijan’s World Cup Qualifier earlier in the week. In his last ten matches, Mr Gagelmann has shown 27 yellow cards – 4 in each of his last 4 games – and two reds, without awarding any penalties. His average rating this season is 8.71.
Pre-Match Press Conference
Gregor Wolf, The Gazette
“You’ve had a bit of a break and it’s been fourteen days since your last match. How fresh are the players, will they be affected by that?”
“We have all been glad for the rest and feel invigorated by it. With the
exception of RL, those away with their nations have come back fine.”
Gregor Wolf, The Gazette
“Your last match (5-1 v Hannover) saw you play very well indeed. You must be certain of carrying that form forwards into this fixture?“
“It gives us great confidence. Everybody here wants to keep
this great run going, and maintain our 100% home record.“
Andreas Holtz, Dortmund Daily
“Would you agree with Dede’s comments that Matthias Ginter will prove Freiburg’s main threat tomorrow?”
“Ginter is clearly a good player but we do our homework and
have a game-plan for our opponents across the squad.“
Leon Horn, The Express
“Bayern Munich play VfL Bochum tomorrow, and will be looking for the win that gets their title defence back on track. Do you see them winning that game?“
“Yes, I would be surprised if they didn’t.
As ever, you harbour half-a-hope that someone does you a favour.”
Paul Weiß, German Football Review
“Robert Lewandowski has some back from international duty with a serious injury. Just how frustrating is it to lose such an important player in this way?“
“It’s incredibly frustrating. Robert is a key player for us and we’ve lost him
to injury for a few months in the 94th minute of a dead rubber match.”
Saturday 19 October: Borussia Dortmund v. SC Freiburg (Bundesliga)