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Match preview: Freiburg and Lens battle for Europa League spot

After a goalless draw in France last week, Freiburg will host Lens in the Black Forest with the ambition of qualifying for the Europa League round of 16 for the second time in a row.

The Breisgau Brazilians faced French opponents for the first time in their history last season, but they remain unbeaten after three games against these teams with six goals scored and none conceded (2 wins, 1 draw).

They will need to continue this momentum to get past this play-off. And knowing that the Germans have won their last two home group matches by a score of 5-0, they can look to the future with confidence.

However, not everything is rosy on the domestic front, as Freiburg had to come back from three goals down to draw against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, to avoid the ignominy of four consecutive Bundesliga defeats (1 draw, 3 losses).

Lens, on the other hand, did not have the pleasure of stringing together four Ligue 1 victories, as they drew 1-1 with Reims.

The focus quickly turns to the question of improving a respectable record against German opponents (5 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses) in order to reach the first LEU round of 16 in the club’s history.

To do so, ending a run of three goalless away games against German teams is almost certainly a necessity (2 draws, 1 loss).

This need is nothing compared to the huge run of 14 European away games that Lens have failed to win before this new attempt (7 draws, 7 losses).

In the last four home first-leg matches in European competition, Lens have managed to qualify in the last two.

But if this match were to go all the way, it would be Lens’ first ever participation in a European penalty shootout!

Key Battle: Michael Gregoritsch’s three LEU goals this season have all come in the last home game. That means five of his seven goals in the competition this season have come here, including two as an opener.

It is Elye Wahi who will probably have the keys to do better than him. The Frenchman has already scored two goals in Europe this season and three of his five goals this season have been decisive.

Hot stat: There have been goals in both halves of five of Freiburg’s last six official matches.

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