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Jan 8, 2022 at 2.30pm UK
Arminia BielefeldArminia Bielefeld
Haberer (6'), Woo-yeong (46')
Schlotterbeck (53'), Gulde (76')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Okugawa (60'), Lasme (87')
Hack (69')

Preview: Freiburg vs. Arminia Bielefeld - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Freiburg vs. Arminia Bielefeld - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Freiburg and Arminia Bielefeld, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to extend their fairytale run into 2022, third-placed Freiburg welcome struggling Arminia Bielefeld to the Black Forest on Saturday afternoon.

Having experienced contrasting fortunes in the first half of the campaign, the pair resume Bundesliga action after the winter break with very different objectives in mind.

Match preview

Freiburg's best-ever start to a Bundesliga campaign concluded in fine style just before the break, when they recovered from a blip of just one win from six games to take maximum points against their fellow contenders for Champions League football, Bayer Leverkusen.

Indeed, the club which has traditionally bounced between the top two divisions without making a major impact on the top flight ended their December schedule with a late 2-1 victory, sealed by young Kevin Schade's 84th-minute goal.

Not only did that result ensure that Freiburg finished 2021 third in the Bundesliga standings, it also underlined the self-assuredness of Christian Streich's expectation-defying squad, which accumulated seven from a possible 12 points just prior to the winter break.

Furthermore, they completed their first 17 fixtures with just 16 goals conceded - a new club record - and were only matched by leaders Bayern in that regard.

As they now embark on the challenge of maintaining their momentum into the second half of the season, Streich - the league's longest-serving manager, who recently marked both 10 years in the job and 300 Bundesliga games in charge - will be determined to get off to a winning start.

To do so, however, the Black Forest club must overcome a side they have failed to beat in their last two meetings, as the teams played out a goalless draw in Bielefeld on the opening matchday, and Arminia came out on top last April, when they were again the home side.

Winning back-to-back Bundesliga games for the first time this season, just ahead of German football's mid-season hibernation, Frank Kramer's Arminia climbed within two points of safety, after a disappointing start to the season.

In fact, those victories against Bochum and, most impressively, away to RB Leipzig, ensured Die Blauen enjoyed successive wins for the first time since gaining promotion in 2020.

They upset both the odds and the post-match stats with their 2-0 triumph against the recent Champions League regulars, coming away from Leipzig with the points despite conceding 17 shots at goal, nearly three-quarters of the possession, and going down to 10 men with 20 minutes left to play.

Following that improbable result, only six teams have taken more points than resurgent Arminia since the start of November, though they remain in the relegation zone largely due to their lack of goalscoring threat.

Ahead of their trip to Freiburg this weekend, Kramer's men have registered just 14 league goals from 17 outings - a rate which must surely improve if they are to stand any chance of survival.

Freiburg Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Following three weeks of rest, recuperation and training, Christian Streich has an almost full squad available on Saturday, with only Yannik Keitel completely ruled out due to a groin problem.

French defender Jonathan Schmid has returned to the squad after a long layoff, though will be short of match fitness, but Freiburg have no other injury concerns.

Therefore, Lucas Holer should join Italy striker Vincenzo Grifo - directly involved in 10 goals during the first half of the season - up front for the home side.

Meanwhile, Arminia will be weakened without the suspended pair of Fabian Kunze and Fabian Klos, with the latter being sent off in the win at Leipzig.

In the absence of Klos, Germany Under-21 international Janni Serra will lead the line with support from the visitors' five-goal top scorer Masaya Okugawa, who added four of those strikes in his last seven Bundesliga games.

After being sidelined by COVID-19 late last month, captain Manuel Prietl is set to be back in midfield, but Nathan de Medina is unavailable due to illness.

Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Flekken; Kubler, Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck, Gunter; Hofler, Eggestein; Sallai, Jeong, Grifo; Holer

Arminia Bielefeld possible starting lineup:
Ortega; Brunner, Nilsson, Pieper, Andrade; Prietl, Vasiliadis; Wimmer, Schopf, Okugawa; Serra

We say: Freiburg 1-0 Arminia Bielefeld

Though there remains a gulf between the clubs in terms of current league standing, it could be a close-fought affair upon their Bundesliga resumption this week.

Arminia are, though, a side which struggles for inspiration in the final third, so Freiburg's greater pedigree up front should prove the decisive factor at the SC-Stadion.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Bundesliga Table
1Bayern MunichBayern19151361184346
2Borussia DortmundDortmund19131549292040
3Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen1995544311332
5Union BerlinUnion Berlin198742724331
7RB Leipzig1984736231328
8Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt197753028228
9FC Koln197753032-228
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11VfL BochumVfL Bochum1972101727-1023
12Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach196492535-1022
13Hertha Berlin196492138-1722
16Arminia Bielefeld193971826-818
18Greuther Furth1914141551-367
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