The German Bundesliga has kicked off and Erling Haaland has already started dominating. The Norwegian wonderkid scored two goals and added three assists in Borussia Dortmund’s 5-2 takedown of Eintracht Frankfurt.
Freiburg, which finished a respectable 10th in the Bundesliga last season, opened up its 2021-22 campaign with a 0-0 draw away at Arminia Bielefeld. The “Breisgau Brazilians” will look for their first goal of the season and a result at home vs Dortmund.
Game: SC Freiburg vs Borussia Dortmund
Location: Dreisamstadion, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Time: Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET
Head to Head
This past February, Freiburg won its first game over Dortmund since May 2010 in a 2-1 home win sans fans. Dortmund comfortably won 4-0 in the reverse fixture last October. Dortmund has won six of the last 10 matches between the sides, outscoring Freiburg 22-7 and keeping six clean sheets.
Freiburg Tough at Home
Freiburg lost just four times in 17 home matches in 2020-21. Against the Bundesliga’s top four, Freiburg lost just once at the Dreisamstadion. In last year’s home match vs Dortmund, Woo-yeong Jeong and Jonathan Schmid scored long-range efforts to power Freiburg to a 2-1 win.
The Baden-Württemberg side had more chances and possession in its fixture vs Arminia Bielefeld. Freiburg seems poised to fight for a place in the top half of the Bundesliga once again.
However, impressive goalkeeper Florian Muller left the club at the conclusion of his loan move. Muller had the third-best save percentage in the league last season and new goalkeeper Mark Flekken has just 14 games of Bundesliga experience.
Otherwise, Freiburg returns most of its key players. Italian attacking midfielder/winger Vincenzo Grifo was highly productive last season, leading the team in both goals and assists. Freiburg does lack an imposing attacking threat, though, as it didn’t have a 10-goal scorer last season.
The Haaland Show Continues
In an offseason press conference, Haaland made light of the fact that he was tipped to be heading to Chelsea for €175 million. Haaland slyly said, “I hope it’s just rumors because that’s a lot of money for one person.”
With how the 21-year old Norwegian has performed over the past few seasons, that lofty figure seems to be an accurate appraisal. In 28 games last season in the Bundesliga, Haaland scored 27 goals and added 10 goals in eight Champions League matches. In 61 matches in all competitions since joining Dortmund in 2020, Haaland has a ridiculous 62 goals.
He got on the scoresheet twice in the opener and provided assists for Gio Reyna, Marco Reus and Thorgan Hazard. Haaland could lead Dortmund’s title challenge but the team around him is excellent as well.
BVB did look vulnerable defensively in its match vs Eintracht Frankfurt but should iron out the kinks as the season goes on.
It is certainly worth noting that Dortmund takes on Bayern Munich in the DFL Super Cup midweek and will have a shorter rest period than Freiburg. Freiburg’s rare win over Dortmund last season came in a similar scenario.
Dortmund has a deep squad but it does give Freiburg a bit of an advantage. Haaland did score two goals vs Freiburg in Dortmund’s 4-0 home win last season, so he’ll be a handful to deal with either way. BVB is a heavy soccer betting favorite at -210 to win but I think this could be a trap game.
Take Freiburg to keep it close and cover the +1 spread at +115.