Pre-Season Preview: SC Freiburg

SC Freiburg Will Look To Battle Relegation Once Again This Season.

Manager Robin Dutt, whose only real previous managerial experience is with lowly side Stuttgart Kickers, has so far been impressive as a Bundesliga manager with Freiburg. While he hasn’t pulled off any miracles, it certainly is a commedable achievement keeping Freiburg afloat in the Bundesliga. This season the task will be the same, and he will be expected to complete it.

Key Players

Goalkeeper Simon Pouplin, who joined the club in 2008 from Stade Rennais in Ligue 1, is probably the best player at the club. Pouplin is reliable and positionally very aware between the sticks and he will be expected to keep the scores respectable for his side this season. What is also impressive about Pouplin is his communication with his defense. Time and again we see goalkeepers going for the same ball that their defender is going for. Pouplin makes sure his defense are aware of his presence and marshals them effectively.

Captain Heiko Butscher will also be critical to Freiburg’s hopes of staying up this season. His experience and marking ability will be a vital asset to his side, and he really is a standout defender in Freiburg’s backline. Although Butscher is a bit of a journeyman, his longest spell with any club has been with Freiburg. Butscher, along with Pouplin, will be responsible for resolute defending against all the odds. Clean sheets for Freiburg equals points on the league table. If they can keep the opposition out, they can stay up this season.

Newcomers

Maximilian Nicu has joined the club from recently relegated Hertha Berlin. The German-born Romanian international will offer width and pace to Freiburg, something that could come in very handy to them should they decide to play a defensive, counter-attacking brand of football. Nicu also has a decent left-foot and he will look to hit the byline and put high balls into the box for Freiburg’s strikers to get on the end of. His addition to Freiburg certainly is a positive one.

Jan Rosenthal has made a move to the club after a stint with Hannover 96. Rosenthal, like Nicu, will bring width and pace to the club. Unlike Nicu, Rosenthal is a wide-right player. The two of them zipping down the wings could be an exciting prospect for Freiburg fans, and something possibly to look forward to this season. Rosenthal also has a very powerful long-range shot that he likes to take on his right foot, so we may see Nicu and Rosenthal swapping wings during some matches this season so the two can more easily get in amongst the goals.

Expectations

Freiburg fans will expect their side to stay up this season. They’ve got an average squad on paper, but if they can stay disciplined defensively they can defy the odds and keep themselves alive in the Bundesliga for another season. I fancy them to survive, and I also believe they’ll continue to strengthen into a proper safe, mid-table club. The future with Dutt looks bright, but all remains to be seen as the season nears closer.

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