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The Daily Bee: Big Wins for Freiburg & Union Berlin in the Europa League

It turns out that it’s actually very easy for teams with relatively small squads to juggle busy schedules. Just choose to win instead.


It was a mixed bag for Bundesliga clubs in the Champions League this week, but in the Europa League it was plain sailing for Germany’s representatives. The Bundesliga’s early frontrunners, Union Berlin, kept themselves in with a chance of making the knockout stages of the Europa League with a 1-0 win against Malmö. They’re currently sat in third place behind Union St. Gilloise and Braga, and they trail Braga by only one point, so they’ve still got a shot. Meanwhile, Freiburg are already through to the next phase of the cup competition, after they smashed Nantes 4-0 at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

Freiburg have had an incredible run in the Europa League so far, winning all four of their group games, and racking up a +10 goal difference (conceding only one goal). Very, very impressive.

Union Berlin have claimed a lot of the headlines so far this season, which is understandable given that they currently sit two points clear at the top of the table, but Freiburg, the team that are only two points behind them, are having an incredible season too. There’s even some reason to think that Freiburg might actually have a better shot at sustaining this run, given that their underlying numbers are a lot stronger than Union’s (though we’re approaching the point that we can reasonably start to argue that Union’s success is a product of something that xG is not capturing).

Either way, it’s good to see a couple of very likeable underdogs having amazing seasons. Long may it continue.

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Borussia Dortmund play on Sunday over the weekend, which gives me a whole Saturday free from the responsibilities of providing very premium content to you folks. What should a fun-loving man about town (with his dog) do with his Saturday?