Two sides battling it out at the bottom face off on Friday night as Freiburg look to leapfrog their visitors to the Schwarzwald Stadion, while Hamburg aim to open up a five-point gap to the relegation play-off place with a win (kick-off: 20:30 CET / 19:30 GMT).
Freiburg come into this crunch match on the back of a 2-1 win over Mainz that brought a five-match winless run to an end. However, the Black Forest outfit have only lost once at home this season and know they have to back up last week’s win with yet another against a relegation rival. Coach Christian Streich only has one new injury worry from that game with defender Marc-Oliver Kempf suffering a torn thigh muscle. Youngster Robin Koch looks set to take his place at the back in the only change. It means Liverpool loanee Ryan Kent will likely have to settle for a place on the bench once again, although he was a half-time substitute for Bartosz Kapustka last Saturday.
Hamburg make the almost 400 mile trip to Freiburg – the longest away day in the Bundesliga – with confidence high after a comprehensive 3-0 win last time out over Freiburg’s local rivals Hoffenheim. Coach Markus Gisdol has no new injuries to contend with and has received further good news as creative influence Nicolai Müller appears to be ahead of schedule on his comeback from a cruciate ligament tear. It means the Bundesliga’s only ever-present club are likely to stick to the same starting XI from Sunday’s game, which would see the continued partnership of Bobby Wood and Jann-Fiete Arp in attack.
Watch: Highlights of Hamburg’s 3-0 win over Hoffenheim – including the Bundesliga’s 1000th own goal
Freiburg: Schwolow – Söyüncü, Koch, Schuster (c) – Stenzel, Haberer, Höfler, Terrazzino, Günter – Petersen, Kapustka
Absentees: Frantz (knee), Kempf (thigh), Gulde (back), Niederlechner (knee)
Coach: Christian Streich
Hamburg: Mathenia – Diekmeier, Papadopoulos, Mavraj, Douglas Santos – Hunt, Jung, Sakai (c), Kostic – Wood, Arp
Absentees: Müller (knee ligament)
Coach: Markus Gisdol
- Ten of Freiburg’s 11 points this season have come at home, with just one loss at the Schwarzwald Stadion.
- Hamburg won their first away game of the season in Cologne, but have lost all five since.
- HSV have conceded at least twice in each of their last five on the road.
- Nils Petersen had a hand in all three goals against Hamburg last season.
- Hamburg once had the wood over Freiburg, but not since Streich’s appointment (W3, D5, L1). The Black Forest side are actually unbeaten in five top-flight campaigns against HSV – their longest current run.
- Hamburg have won just one of their last nine against Freiburg (3-0 in October 2013).