Preview: Borussia Dortmund v Freiburg

Xavi scores free-kick screamer in AFC Champions League

Freiburg face a tough task trying to halt Borussia Dortmund’s rampaging frontline when they travel to Signal Iduna Park in the Bundesliga on Friday night.

24 September 2016
Kick-off: 02:30 HKT

Venue: Signal-Iduna-Park

Head-to-head summary:


Borussia Dortmund 32 21 8 3
Freiburg 32 3 8 21

Previous encounter:

Freiburg 0-3 Borussia Dortmund 07/02/15 (Bundesliga)

Borussia Dortmund goalscorers: M Reus (9′), P. Aubameyang (56′, 72′)

Players to watch:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has netted an impressive five goals in just six games this season to pick up from where he left off last in the last campaign. The Gabon striker scored 25 goals in the Bundesliga to end as the league’s second-top scorer behind Robert Lewandowski before being named Bundesliga Player of the Year.

Amazingly, Aubameyang touched the ball 27 times, took three shots and scored twice in the club’s last match, a 5-1 rout of VfL Wolfsburg.

His form makes him a key figure for Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, in front of the creativity of Gonzalo Castro, who in the last three competitive games has set up four goals while also netting two himself.

Raphael Guerreiro is another player who has made his mark this season with some all-round, combative performances in midfield. He created two and scored one (with his first touch of the ball) in the victory over Wolfsburg and another one against Legia Warsaw in the Champions League, while also scoring one himself, and claiming plaudits from his manager.

Maximilian Philipp and Nils Petersen have both been important players for Freiburg this season, with some timely goals and assists.

Philipp bagged a brace in the 3-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach with Petersen coming off the bench to create Philipp’s second before scoring from the penalty spot himself. Petersen, who has mainly been utilised as an impact substitute, also grabbed the winner in the 1-0 defeat of Hamburg on Tuesday, having only a minute earlier replaced Florian Niederlechner.

Team form and manager quotes:

Eight-time German champions Borussia Dortmund, who ended last season in second place, have dropped just three points this term, in a shock 1-0 defeat to RB Leipzig, while comprehensively winning their other three league ties.

After their most recent victory, boss Tuchel is confident they will be where they want to be on the table as long as they can keep stringing wins together.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s the consecutive wins that make me happy. The table is always the result of this. But when it comes down to it, we’re moving forward. Our focus is not on the table, but on Friday’s match.

Dortmund are currently in third place behind leaders Bayern Munich and second-placed Koln, while Freiburg are in ninth place, with six points from their opening four games, having lost 2-1 to Hertha Berlin and 3-0 to Cologne, while picking up wins over Gladbach (3-1) and Hamburg (1-0). The victory over Hamburg was Freiburg’s eighth consecutive home win, and a new club record.

Team news:

Dortmund must do without Marc Bartra, who is struggling with adductor muscle problems he picked up in the game against Wolfsburg.

Tuchel explained: “He has adductor problems, which he noticed for a short while when warming up. Then they disappeared. They came back when he made a pass. I can’t say what it is. My Spanish is not good enough to do so. It will be very, very tight for Freiburg.”

Caglar Soyuncu and Jonas Meffert are rated as doubtful for Freiburg after picking up a virus, while Lukas Kubler, Marc Torrejon Moya and Jonas Fuhrenbach are all back in content following their respective returns from injury.