[ClevPicks Prediction]: Freiburg vs. Bochum: Bochum's Relegation Fight?
Ritsu Doan (left) and Takuma Asano (right) square off in the opening match of Matchday 4 at Freiburg's stadium against Bochum.
Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano square off as Freiburg opens Matchday 4 at home against Bochum on Friday. Ritsu Doan is one of Japan's best players (kick-off: 8.30pm CEST).
Doan, 24, scored for Freiburg on his Bundesliga debut as they defeated Augsburg 4-0 to start the season. Die Breisgauer won their first game back after losing to Borussia Dortmund at home, but they also defeated VfB Stuttgart by a score of 1-0 to go back on track. One of the Bundesliga's UEFA Europa League teams moved up to fifth place in the early standings thanks to Vincenzo Grifo's lone goal. Christian Streich has used the same starting lineup for all three Bundesliga games, with rookie Kiliann Sildillia claiming the right back position. Sildillia is a Fantasy steal at 3.6M and averages 11 points per game. Maximilian Eggestein, who somehow continued to play despite breaking his hand in the Stuttgart game, may force Streich into a change. The midfielder will likely be replaced by Yannik Keitel after needing surgery.
Even though Asano also scored this season, it happened in the first round of the DFB Cup. The 27-year-old has yet to score in the league, and Bochum, which is currently without a point after being destroyed 7-0 by Bayern Munich, is languishing at the bottom. Coach Thomas Reis will be aware that there is no need to panic just yet because the last time that happened after three matchdays, they finished the season in seventh. Having tested both earlier this term, he will need to choose between a back three and a back four. The latter happened against Bayern, but don't be shocked if he remains with the same starting lineup as they try to respond. The return of winger Gerrit Holtmann to the starting lineup is one anticipated development. Given that Jannes Horn, Danilo Soares, and Kostas Stafylidis are all injured in the left back position, Saidy Janko should stay in that position as backup. Additionally, Lys Mousset, who joined on a free transfer, might make his debut.
With two goals each, Grifo and Michael Gregoritsch are Freiburg's top scorers in 2022–23.
Mark Flekken, the Freiburg goalie, is scheduled to play in his 50th Bundesliga game.
Streich has used the same starting lineup for all three league games this year; he has never used the same lineup for four straight contests.
In the previous sixteen matches in the top division, this match has never ended scoreless.
This season, Bochum has two of the top 15 fastest players in the league with Janko (21.6 mph) and Asano (21.41 mph) on their roster.
For the first time since the 2006–07 Bundesliga season, Bochum has yet to pick up a single point in three games this year.
Freiburg: Flekken - Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart, Günter (c) - Keitel, Höfler – Sallai, Doan, Grifo - Gregoritsch
Out: Ezekwem (muscular), Höler (metatarsal), Kübler (thigh), Schade (abdominal)
Doubtful: Eggestein (hand)
Coach: Christian Streich
Bochum: Riemann - Gamboa, Ordets, Heintz, Janko - Losilla (c), Stöger – Asano, Zoller, Holtmann - Hofmann
Out: Antwi-Adjei (muscular), Horn (thigh), Soares (hip)
Doubtful: Grave (muscular), Osterhage (muscular), Stafylidis (muscular)
Coach: Thomas Reis
We anticipate Freiburg will be strong for their opponents, despite Bochum's desire to avenge their humiliation at the hands of Bayern last week.
It would be surprising if Bochum were not involved in a relegation fight this season, while Streich have the momentum and talent to contend for the European spots once more.
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