Freiburg v Werder Bremen: SCF to continue run against worrying Werder

Christian Streich Freiburg
Christian Streich's earned a point against Die Roten Bullen
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Freiburg's surprise draw at RB Leipzig put them within touching distance of the Europa League places and Jasmine Baba thinks they'll have too much for Bremen.

"But this is a very different Werder Bremen side, devoid of attacking potency, confidence and they have the league's most porous defence."

Freiburg v Werder Bremen
Saturday 14:30 BST
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video

Freiburg in

Well no one was expecting that. Already exceeding expectations for the season, SC Freiburg weren't supposed to be a thorn in title-chasing RB Leipzig's side on Bundesliga restart day.

Entering Saturday's game as the big underdogs, Christian Streich's side set up as a defensive-minded 5-4-1 formation to trouble Julian Nagelsmann's bright stars and it worked when the visitor's took the lead in the 34th minute, thanks to defender Manuel Gulde converting from a corner.

What came after was quite predictable. Freiburg kept their shape and did try to play out from the back, as they usually do, but it turned into a one-sided game. RB Leipzig threw the kitchen sink at them and in doing so, the home side had 61% possession to their opponent's 39%, nine shots on target with 1.92 v 0.33 expected goals (xG).

The surprising aspect of it was that Leipzig could only manage an equaliser, which Streich lamented in his post-match interview: "We weren't good enough football wise."


It was still a big result as Freiburg moved to within two points of the Europa League qualification spots, although Wolfsburg, who occupy that sixth spot, have been on an unbeaten run since the start of February and continued it after the league's postponement. European football would be a massive achievement for Freiburg with such a small squad and when you take into account they were just looking to avoid relegation, but it could be within their sights.

Streich's only injury concern for this match is right-back Lukas Kübler, who has been lacking match fitness but could come back into the side at some capacity.

Bremen out?

Werder Bremen restarted their disaster season where they left off against the ever-impressive Bayer Leverkusen.

‎Die Werderaner came into the match four points off the relegation play-off spot and nine from safety in 17th position and, having only gained five points in their 11 games at home, a victory or draw against a team chasing Champions League football would have been a major shock.

So, there were no surprises to be had when Leverkusen took the lead after 28 minutes with rising star Kai Havertz getting the first. Bremen did get back into it two minutes after the opener, thanks to Theodor Gebre Selassi but Havertz once again was the talking point when he scored another header.

From there, Werder once again faded away, their earlier goal their only shot on target throughout the 90 minutes. The visitors were merciless as they dominated in the second half, allowing the hosts to only have 36% of possession, contain them to an xG of 0.88 throughout the match and then scoring two more to make it 4-1, leaving the Weserstadion with all three points.

Despite having a game in hand where a win would give them, at the least a fighting chance of survival, relegation seems an increasingly likely prospect for Bremen. With only four wins this season and the second least amount of goals scored, it's hard to see how coach Florian Kohfeldt's side will get out of this one.

He will remain without forward Niclas Fullkrug, who has been out since September, but veteran Claudio Pizarro has also been ruled out of this game with a hamstring injury, alongside midfielder Kevin Mohwald. Left back Ludwig Augustinsson should return into the team after his injury.

Big home odds due to dodgy defence

Despite this being seventh v 17th, the hosts are still odds-against favourites at [2.23], with Werder Bremen [3.35] for the win and the draw at [3.75].

There's an uncertainty about Freiburg as they've only won two of the seven league matches in which they started as a favourite at Schwarzwald-Stadion this season (D2-L3), alongside the fact they've only kept two clean sheets in their last 16 games. The head-to-head hasn't been kind to them either; Werder have lost just one of their last seven competitive matches against SCF (W3-D3), the defeat coming back in February 2018.

But this is a very different Werder Bremen side, devoid of attacking potency, confidence and with the league's most porous defence. The hosts, on the flip side, are brimming with some sort of confidence after taking a point from one of the Bundesliga's best. The [2.23] about the hosts is generous, but I can't ignore the goals in this either. I'd also consider taking Freiburg and BTTS at 11/4 or Freiburg to win and Over 1.5 and 2.5 at 8/5 and 11/5 respectively.

One rare scorer...

Werder Bremen's Leonardo Bittencourt has scored six of his 20 Bundesliga goals (30%) against Freiburg, and with SCF partial to conceding, he might be the one who does so for the visitors. He's 7/2 to do so.

Jasmine Baba,

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