Stuttgart and Freiburg face crucial derby clash

The stakes are clearly defined for Saturday's derby between Stuttgart and Freiburg with points for survival, as well as local pride, on the table.


Stuttgart may be used to going into such a duel as favourites, but the boot is on the other foot this time with Freiburg five points ahead of their illustrious rivals in the Bundesliga.

"I think it's pretty clear what this game is all about," said Freiburg coach Christian Streich, whose side are on a four-game unbeaten streak, which includes three wins.

"I don't think it matters so much to Stuttgart whether this is a derby or not. In the situation they are in, they will do all they can to win on Saturday.

"But we must not hide. We've got to try to play football and deal with the atmosphere that there is going to be in the stadium."

It will be the third time the two sides will have met this season with Stuttgart winning in the league in Freiburg, but going down 2-1 in the DFB-Pokal.

That latter encounter is the one Streich prefers to think back to in finding the key to beating the Swabians once again.

"They were very aggressive to begin with in that game, so we've got to have even more energy and courage than we had back then," said Streich at a press conference.

"At the same time, we want to beat our opponents with fair, sporting means, for example by winning the tackles.

"I have faith in my lads doing that because they've already shown several times how much they have matured, individually and as a team."

Stuttgart coach Huub Stevens needs his own team to mature fast with "time running out" for them to edge clear of danger.

"When I arrived here, I said that we had 10 finals, well now we only have six," said the Dutch coach, who is without the suspended Georg Niedermeier and the injured Cacau and Rani Khedira.

"It's getting tighter and tighter."

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