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Borussia Dortmund vs. SC Freiburg: Key Matchups

SC Freiburg v Hamburger SV - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund has outscored opponents 17-1 over the past three matches, mercilessly dismantling opposing defenses. With the team's fourth match in 10 days coming up Friday, Dortmund heads back to the Westfalenstadion for a match with SC Freiburg.

Dortmund is fresh off a 5-1 victory Tuesday night over VfL Wolfsburg on the road. Freiburg, meanwhile, kept a clean sheet on Tuesday at home against Hamburg, narrowly winning, 1-0. Freiburg has conceded six goals in four games and has yet to claim a road point this season.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Distance shooting

Freiburg is not afraid to uncork shots from outside the penalty area, scoring a few goals from distance already this season. Much of the club’s attacking play comes in short bursts between midfield and the attacking third. The team lacks the pace and possession skills to mount a patient attack, and has relied upon accurate shots from distance for scoring chances.

KEY TO THE GAME: Speed and set pieces

Freiburg has struggled defending set pieces and throw-ins this season, and a slow back-line has led to ample counter-attacking chances for Freiburg’s opponents. Dortmund certainly have the speed up front to give Freiburg’s defense fits for all 90 minutes. In terms of set pieces, having Raphael Guerreiro over the ball is already an advantage, but an accurate free-kick against Freiburg will be an almost certain goal.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Maximilian Philipp

The Freiburg striker has scored twice already this season and the offense runs through him. Philipp has shown his ability to keep possession and can shoot through traffic. His attacking prowess is first rate, making him one of the Bundesliga’s can’t-miss forwards.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

  • Formation: 4-4-2
  • Goalkeeper: Alexander Schwolow
  • Defense: Christian Gunter, Nicolas Hofler, Manuel Gulde, Pascal Stenzel
  • Midfield: Onur Bulut, Georg Niedermeier, Amir Abrashi, Vincenzo Grifo
  • Forwards: Maximilian Philipp, Nils Petersen

PERSONNEL NOTE: Freiburg defender Pascal Stenzel is currently on loan from Borussia Dortmund and will be suiting up for the first time against his parent club.

PREDICTION: Dortmund 5-0

Hard to see it any other way, especially the way Dortmund has been scoring at will over the past two weeks. Freiburg’s defense isn’t anything to be worried about and their attack, though talented, will still struggle to find a breakthrough even with Marc Bartra sidelined.