Freiburg preview: 2019 begins as 2018 did
The four-week winter break is over and the Bundesliga is back. Just like last year, Eintracht Frankfurt begin 2019 with a home match against SC Freiburg.
The Eagles will be looking to pick up their first three Bundesliga points of 2019 on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET) when Christian Streich’s side visit the Commerzbank-Arena.
On track to achieve targets
Both teams can be pretty pleased with how their campaigns have gone so far. Freiburg are sitting in mid-table, a comfortable distance from the relegation scrap, while Eintracht currently occupy sixth place after an impressive first half of the season in which they also reached the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.
Another similarity of sorts: both clubs have re-signed former players on loan during the winter break. Sebastian Rode and Vincenzo Grifo have returned to their old stomping grounds to help their sides build on a solid first half of the season, and the two men could both make their second debuts on Saturday.
A good omen?
Interestingly, the fixture list has thrown up a repeat of the Eagles’ opening match of 2018. It will be almost a year to the day since the two sides drew 1-1 in Frankfurt, when Sébastien Haller’s goal was cancelled out by Robin Koch. For SGE, it was the beginning of the club’s most successful calendar year in a long time as they went on to win their first major trophy in 30 years as well as making history in the first half of this season by becoming the first German team to win all six group games in Europe. Will this weekend’s meeting with Freiburg lay the cornerstone for another special year?