Freiburg to strike at Leverkusen's soft underbelly

German Bundesliga surprise packages Freiburg will be looking to go into the winter break in third place behind giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. To achieve this, they must best the current occupants Bayer Leverkusen at the SC-Stadion on Sunday afternoon. Read our preview here:

Egg soldier

Though recent league form has been patchy at best, Breisgau-Brasilianer have been one of the stories of the season to date under head coach Christian Streich, who is celebrating his 10th successive year in the dugout. He will line up his charges on Sunday in a 4-2-3-1, packing the midfield in an attempt to force the opposition to take a wider or more direct route to their defensive third. The double pivot of Maximilian Eggestein and Nicolas Höfler are crucial to that strategy succeeding, and their side's bid for a Champions League spot come May. The former of the duo covers a lot of ground shuttling between the other two units in particular, and with brothers Nico and Leven Schlotterbeck restored at the back, they should be a formidable force.

Wirtz on a Wurlitzer

Die Werkself have contrived to throw away handsome leads in their last two games, only eventually gaining a single point in the process. Gerardo Seoane has only three players missing for their journey northwards; Moussa Diaby is suspended, whilst Mitchel Bakker and Julian Baumgartlinger are out of contention. On paper, that means a pretty strong squad will travel, especially given the exploits of Florian Wirtz and Patrick Schick this term. The 18 year old has been a revelation ever since being thrust into first team action, racking up eight goals and 11 assists across domestic and European competition in 2021/2022. Unusually, he has already cut his teeth at senior international level in a setup that prefers not to fast-track individuals in that fashion.

Feuer Frei!

The outcome of the match will be determined as much by the collective psychology in the Leverkusen camp as it will Freiburg's defensive resolve. There is an opportunity for both teams to go into the break on a high, but if Wirtz and Schick can be kept quiet by a bolstered backline, then odds of 2.70 for a home win with betway look favourable.

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