Two Bundesliga sides in contrasting form face off on Saturday afternoon as Freiburg hosts Borussia Monchengladbach at the Schwarzwald-Stadion.
Christian Streich and his Freiburg side find themselves laundering ever too close to the relegation zone. Currently sat on seven points, 17th placed Arminia Bielefeld are only three points behind them.
This is unlike Freiburg in previous seasons where Streich has really established them as a regular Bundesliga outfit. At this point last season they were competing for Europa League football, but for whatever reason this has not happened so far this time around. Losing key players such as Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt may be part of the problem although the former has been suitably replaced by Baptiste Santamaria.
As for Gladbach, they recorded an impressive 4-1 victory over hapless Schalke last weekend and will be looking for back-to-back wins against relegation battlers. However, for a change this season, their Champions League form was slightly underwhelming in the week, losing 3-2 to a Romelu Lukaku inspired Inter Milan. This leaves their UCL chances in the balance, as they sit on eight points with both Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid on seven while Inter are on five.
SC Freiburg - Both Mark Flekken and Janik Haberer remain certain absentees, while Rolland Sallai is struggling with a muscle injury and Yannik Keitel has a knee problem. Kwon Chang-Hoon also tested positive for COVID-19, so he won't feature either.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Manager Marco Rose has confirmed that centre back Nico Elvedi will miss the trip against Freiburg, while Ramy Bensebaini has not returned to training yet after contracting COVID-19. Tony Jantschke is also a doubt, and Jonas Hoffman remains out for now.
SC Freiburg - Florian Muller; Jonathan Schmid, Philip Lienhart, Dominique Heintz, Christian Gunter; Vincenzo Grifo, Baptiste Santamaria, Nicolas Hofler, Rolland Sallai; Nils Petersen, Lucas Holer
Borussia Monchengladbach - Yann Sommer; Stefan Lainer, Tony Jantschke, Matthias Ginter, Oscar Wendt; Valentino Lazaro, Christoph Kramer, Lars Stindl, Florian Neuhaus, Marcus Thuram; Alassane Plea
SC Freiburg - DLLLD - Last Game - 1-1 vs FC Augsburg
Borussia Monchengladbach - LDWWL- Last Game - 3-2 (L) vs Inter Milan
Ones to watch
SC Freiburg - Vincenzo Grifo is Freiburg's creative spark. Scoring three goals so far this season, his form back in 2017 prompted Gladbach to sign him. Unfortunately it did not work out for the Italian but via Hoffenheim he found himself back at the Schwarzwald-Stadion where he has been thriving. Arguably Christian Streich's best player over the past few years, Grifo has also now appeared multiple times for the Italian national team.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Carrying on the theme of ex-players, centre back Matthias Ginter started his career at Saturdays opponents and has been integral for Gladbach ever since joining in 2017. Now 26, he has become a regular for the German national team, receiving rave reviews for his defensive work. It will be a tough test for Freiburg to score against the man who used to ply his trade in Baden-Wurttemberg.
Over previous seasons, whoever is at home has often taken the three points, with no away wins since 2008 despite playing each other in all but one season since. The last four matches at Schwarzwald-Stadion have gone Freiburg's way with last seasons encounter being an eventful one.
Finishing 1-0 to Christian Streich's men thanks to a Nils Petersen goal, it was a red card to Gladbach's Alassane Plea that caused the most conversation, as club director Max Eberl was also sent to the stands for remonstrating with the referee.
Where to watch on TV
This game won't be broadcast live on TV in the UK, but those in the United States can watch on ESPN+.
What have the managers said
Borussia Monchengladbach - Marco Rose: "Freiburg cover a lot of ground and are a strong to boot, which makes them a tough opponent. We won't be making any changes to our game plan this Saturday, as it's been working well for us."
"We're not focused on our recent results in Freiburg. There are things that have gone well over the last few months, which is why we're heading to Freiburg with confidence. We're in good form at the moment and want to win the game.