SC Freiburg vs Werder Bremen Live Werder Bremen will look to Milot Rashica first as they look to arrest a seven-game winless run against Freiburg at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Saturday (kick-off: 3.30pm CET/2.30pm GMT/9.30am ET).
Rashica scored one and set up another as these sides drew 2-2 in November’s reverse fixture at the Weser Stadion, but a brace from former Bremen man Nils Petersen rather drowned out the Kosovar’s good work. That was Bremen’s fifth consecutive draw, but few would have predicted that just seven points would be picked up in the subsequent 15 games. Coach Florian Kohfeld hasn’t been helped by a raft of injuries throughout the season, although Die Grün-Weißen were approaching full-strength in Monday’s 4-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. Former Everton midfielder Davy Klaassen returns from suspension, butfirst-choice left-back Ludwig Augustinsson is still lacking fitness following a muscular injury. Josh Sargent will hope to get the nod up front following his 20-minute cameo from the bench against Bayer.
Freiburg have lost eight of their last 13 home games to Bremen but recent history has been much kinder to the Black Forest club. Christian Streich’s men begin the day in seventh – 10 places and 19 points better off than their hosts – and would end the weekend in the European places provided they win and Wolfsburg lose to Borussia Dortmund. Freiburg held title aspirants RB Leipzig to a 1-1 draw last time out, and with Lukas Kübler and Mark Flekken the only players struggling with injury, Streich can call upon most of his squad. He could rotate in places, with those in the final third positions most likely to swap in and out. Luca Waldschmidt and Lucas Höler are among those pushing for inclusion from the start.
Watch: Milot Rashica, Bremen’s NextGen star
- Freiburg have already picked up more points after 26 matches (37) than they managed across each of the previous two seasons (36).
- Freiburg’s Petersen, who scored both goals in the reverse fixture, registered 18 goals in 72 appearances for Bremen. He has hit a club-record 84 in 171 for Freiburg, but is without a goal in eight Bundesliga matches.
- Eleven of Freiburg’s last 15 goals have come via set-pieces; Bremen have conceded a league-high 18 times from set-plays.
- Werder have also shipped 14 headed goals, including three in the defeat to Leverkusen. Only once have they conceded more – 15 in 2004/05.
- Bremen led the reverse fixture twice, before having to settle for a 2-2 draw. Despite taking the lead in 13 of their 25 league games so far this season, they have gone on to win just four of them.
- Rashica scored one and assisted the other against Freiburg back on Matchday 10, but has failed to add to his team-leading seven goals in his last 10 Bundesliga matches.
Freiburg: Schwolow – Gulde, Lienhart, Heintz – Schmid, Koch, Höfler, Günter (c) – Waldschmidt, Petersen, Höler
Out: Flekken (ankle), Kübler (knee)
Coach: Christian Streich
Bremen: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander (c), Friedl – M. Eggestein, Bargfrede, Klaassen – Bittencourt, Selke, Rashica
Out: Augustinsson (match fitness), Füllkrug (torn ACL), Möhwald (knee), Pizarro (thigh)
Doubtful: Toprak (calf)
Coach: Florian Kohfeldt