Nuremberg vs Freiburg Preview

Freiburg are secretly setting their sights on European football next season, and they now have two opportunities to make it.

Daniel Caligiuri, Freiburg

Victory over Mainz in the quarter-finals of the DFB-Pokal in midweek has taken the Black Forest club a step closer to the final, and possibly just one win away from qualifying for the Europa League, depending on their potential final opponents.

They are also on course for a top-six finish in the Bundesliga, and a win in Nuremberg would galvanise their hopes.

However, nobody at the club is openly discussing the prospect - yet.

"It's been a dream season so far," midfielder Daniel Caligiuri said. "But we cannot let the Europa League get into our heads, although qualifying would be something special."

Indeed, Freiburg are entering uncharted waters in both the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal with the prospect of their most successful ever season.

"Semi-finals - I don't even know how that is spelt," club chairman Fritz Keller said after Tuesday night's unprecedented heroics.

However, it is not history in the making as far as their coach Christian Streich is concerned.

He appears to be the only one remaining level-headed despite Freiburg's rise this term.

"We are not writing history - we are playing football," he said. "A football game can never be an historic event."

Their form has nevertheless earned recognition from all corners of Germany - not least from Nuremberg, who "have to find a solution for everything they throw at us", according to their coach Michael Wiesinger.

"I think we can say that Freiburg are favourites. Whether they are playing at home or away, they always attack courageously," Wiesinger said. "The hosts are going to be without the suspended Timothy Chandler, but Timm Klose and Robert Mak are both back after missing last weekend's draw against Stuttgart.



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