SC Freiburg escaped Greece with a 3-2 victory on Matchday One of the UEFA Europa League, thanks to an 88th-minute winner from Maximilian Phillip.

Their European exploits have been hit and miss since.

Convincing 3-1 and 5-0 wins against FK TSC Bačka Topola have put them in a commanding position despite a 2-1 defeat at home to West Ham

Der Breisgau-Brasilianer (Breisgau Brazilians) sit second in Group A, on identical points with The Hammers, only behind on head-to-head. 

They only need a point to secure safe passage to the knockout stages, but a win will put them in an assertive position to push for the top spot going into the final game against the group leaders. 

Freiburg's Bundesliga form has not mirrored their relative success in Europe. 

They sit ninth in the league, having failed to win either of their games since their last Europa League match. 

A disappointing 1-1 draw with SV Darmstadt did not provide the perfect preparation for Thursday's game, but Christian Streich's side will still fancy their chances. 

The other two have left Olympiacos FC behind thanks to a disappointing 3-3 draw away in Serbia on Matchday Two. 

The result gave TSC their only point, dragging the Greek side further from qualification. 

Despite this, a 2-1 victory at home against West Ham on Matchday Three showed they are capable of a result, and Freiburg will need to have their wits about them. 

Thrylos (Legend) have fared much better in the Greek Super League this season, currently second behind leader Panathinaikos. 

Diego Martinez's side secured back-to-back victories since the defeat to West Ham and will hope to spoil the apple cart in Germany. 

Team News

SC Freiburg

The hosts possess a lengthy injury list.

Captain Christian Günter (broken arm) is joined by  Lukas Kübler (broken toe), Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (knee), Max Rosenfelder (tendon), Maximilian Philipp (shoulder) and Yannik Keitel (groin) on the treatment table.

At the same time, Roland Sallai will have a thigh problem assessed ahead of kickoff. 

Olympiacos FC

The visitors will be without  Nicolas FreireJackson PorozoGustavo Scarpa and Doron Leidner due to injuries, while Giulian Biancone and Ivan Brnic are ineligible for Europa League competition. 

Likely Lineups

SC Freiburg

Atubolu; Ginter, Lienhart, Gulde; Doan, Eggestein, Hofler, Weisshaupt; Holer, Grifo; Gregoritsch

Olympiacos FC

Paschalakis; Rodinei, Porozo, Retsos, Ortega; Alexandropoulos, Camara, Hezze; Podence, El Kaabi, Fortounis

Key Players

SC Freiburg

Vincenzo Grifo

FREIBURG IM BREISGAU, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 26: <strong><a href='https://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/2023/03/09/europa-league/1140033-juventus-vs-freiburg-uefa-europa-league-preview-round-of-16-2023.html'>Vincenzo Grifo</a></strong> of Sport-Club Freiburg celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Europa-Park Stadion on February 26, 2023 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. (Photo by Helge Prang/Getty Images)
FREIBURG IM BREISGAU, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 26: Vincenzo Grifo of Sport-Club Freiburg celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Europa-Park Stadion on February 26, 2023, in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. (Photo by Helge Prang/Getty Images)

The midfielder has been involved in six goals in four Europa League games this season (four goals, two assists) - joint most with Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz.

The German-born Italian international is a dead-ball specialist, with six of his seven goals in all competitions coming from freekicks or penalties. 

Grifo scored a hattrick last Europa League matchday and will look for more setpiece opportunities on Thursday to make his mark again.

Olympiacos FC

Ayoub El Kaabi

Olympiacos' Moroccan forward #09 Ayoub el-Kaabi celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Olympiacos FC and SC Freiburg at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus on September 21, 2023. (Photo by Aris MESSINIS / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Olympiacos' Moroccan forward #09 Ayoub el-Kaabi celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Olympiacos FC and SC Freiburg at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus on September 21, 2023. (Photo by Aris MESSINIS / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Moroccan grabbed a brace in the reverse fixture and will be the visitor's best chance of securing the three points at Europa-Park

El Kaabi has ten goals in all competitions this season, with four coming in the Europa League

The striker scored the third in a 3-1 win at the weekend, ending a seven-game drought and potentially rediscovering his form at the perfect time for Olympiacos

Match Details

Where is the game being played?

This Europa League clash is being held at Europa-Park Stadion, home of Freiburg, which has a capacity of 34,700.

What time is kick-off?

The game takes place at 18:45 CEST, 17:45 BST for UK viewers.

How can I watch?

The match is broadcast on TNT Sports, with coverage starting at 17:00.

 

 

 

 

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