Leverkusen suffered a heavy 4-1 home loss against Wolfsburg in midweek to drop down to fifth in the Bundesliga, while Freiburg's inconsistent form continued with a 3-3 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Peter Bosz's side had hit the ground running upon their return from the two-month break by beating Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach in emphatic style.
The 4-1 win at Gladbach last weekend was particularly impressive given it came against the side directly above them in the table, with Kai Havertz once against stepping up.
However, all that momentum came to a crashing halt on Tuesday with their surprise defeat to Wolfsburg at BayArena.
It was Wolfsburg's Maximilian Arnold, and not Havertz, who grabbed the headlines as he scored one and set up another as the visitors raced into a four-goal lead.
Leverkusen were given a bit of a let-off by Gladbach, though, as their top-four rivals could only draw 0-0 at strugglers Werder Bremen.
Bosz's men are therefore just one point off fourth place heading into Friday's clash with Freiburg, who are winless in three either side of the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.
Christian Streich's side lost 1-0 to Bremen in their first home game back, but draws away at RB Leipzig and Frankfurt either side of that result show what they are capable of.
Freiburg will look back at their midweek draw against Frankfurt with some disappointment, however, having held a 3-1 lead with a little over 10 minutes remaining.
With six games of the season to go, the hosts are still in contention for a Europa League spot as they find themselves four points adrift of Wolfsburg in seventh.
They are winless in their previous five meetings with Leverkusen, though, with their last two home encounters finishing in goalless draws.
Freiburg's Bundesliga form: LLWDLD
Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga form: WDWWWL
Bayer Leverkusen's form (all competitions): WWWWWL
Leverkusen forward Kevin Volland returned to training earlier this week after recovering from an ankle injury, but this game is expected to come too soon for him to feature.
Bosz switched to a back four in midweek and may well revert back to the same XI that saw off Gladbach, though Havertz will lead the line regardless of the formation.
As for the hosts, Gian-Luca Waldschmidt sat out the loss to Bremen with an ankle problem but was back involved against Frankfurt, playing the opening hour before being replaced.
Playing twice in the space of a few days will be a big ask, while Christian Gunter is another playing through the pain barrier.
Elsewhere, German attacker Janik Haberer played no part against Frankfurt and that is likely to remain the case here.
Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Schmid, Koch, Gulde, Gunter; Sallai, Abrashi, Hofler, Grifo; Waldschmidt, Holer
Bayer Leverkusen possible starting lineup:
Hradecky; Tapsoba, Bender, Dragovic; Weiser, Aranguiz, Demirbay, Sinkgraven; Bellarabi, Havertz, Diaby
We say: Freiburg 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Even accounting for their surprise midweek loss, Leverkusen have still won 12 of their last 14 matches and will be keen to get back to winning ways on Friday. This fixture often finishes all square, but we are backing the visitors to carve out a narrow victory and climb back into the top four.