Bundesliga match preview: Freiburg v Bayern Munich

The weekend action kicks-off on Friday with Freiburg hosting Bayern Munich at the Europa Park. The Black Forest side are actually more concerned at the moment with the potential Black Hole that is threatening to swallow them up as their league form continues to be a real concern. Christian Streich’s side have taken just one point from their last five matches, which has seen the Breisgauer drop to ninth in the table. Their hopes of yet another top six finish are evaporating.

They did manage to bring about some cheer in the Europa league play-off tie with French side Lens, coming back from 2-0 down to stage a miraculous last second of injury time fightback to win the second-leg 3-2. That spirit however was absent last week away at Augsburg, with the Fuggerstädter winning 2-1.

Every season Freiburg trainer Christian Streich says the season target is to reach 40 points and Bundesliga safety, while the club then spends the season competing for the European places. The Breisgauer currently sit on 29 points (9th place) and find themselves in a bit of a rut. They had already reached 42 points by this stage last season, which just goes to show the difficulties the club are having this time around.

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Bayern ended their own run of defeats last week with a 2-1 home win over RB Leipzig courtesy of a 91st minute winner from Harry Kane (who else). Having lost to Bayer Leverkusen and Bochum in the Bundesliga and Lazio in the first-leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, the word ‘crisis’ was all the rage at the Allianz Arena and the club reacted by announcing that the relationship with trainer Thomas Tuchel would be terminated for next season and a new direction would be taken.

The first part of that change of course has seen Max Eberl arrive this week as ‘board member for sport’, but the focus will need to be on the pitch this Friday as three potentially vital points are up for grabs. Bayern have to ensure that they keep picking up the wins so that if (and it is a very big if) Bayer Leverkusen start to slip, they can be on hand to capitalise as they did last season with Borussia Dortmund. 

The response shown against Leipzig last weekend was just what was needed, but the ‘crisis’ word is still lingering and it won’t take much for the internal meltdown to recommence. Freiburg look there for the taking, but the Rekordmeister will be fully aware of what the Breisgauer can do after being dumped out of the Pokal last season at the Allianz Arena by them.  

Team news:


SC Freiburg - Wikipedia

Christian Streich’s injury woes in defence are easing slightly and it is believed Matthias Ginter will be ready to return on Friday. Lukas Kübler’s injury suffered last week looks set to keep him out though. Merlin Röhl will compete with Maxi Eggestein for a starting place, but the Freiburg coach is starting to gain more options with players returning from injury. Jordy Makengo, who has impressed of late, is another candidate for the starting XI although Streich could opt for a back three.  

Possible line-up: Atubolu – Sildillia, Ginter, Gulde, Günter – Röhl, Höfler – Doan, Grifo – Höler, Sallai

Bayern Munich

File:FC Bayern München logo (2017).svg - Wikimedia Commons

Serge Gnabry has made a return to training but is still not ready to make the matchday squad. Alphonso Davies on the other hand is going to be in the squad. Kingsley Coman, Sacha Boey and Noussair Mazraoui remain unavailable, while Mathijs de Ligt is suspended. 

Leroy Sané is being monitored and may be saved for the Lazio fixture in midweek meaning a possible start for either Mathys Tel or Bryan Zaragoza. Eric Dier looks set to keep his place in the back four after a good game against Leipzig, while Joshua Kimmich will continue to fill in at right back. 

Possible line-up: Neuer – Kimmich, M.-J. Kim, Dier, Guerreiro – Goretzka, Pavlovic – Tel, Müller, Musiala – Kane

What they’re saying:


Christian Streich: “It is now about the boys recovering. Not training too much. I hardly took any video of Augsburg. I think it will look different tomorrow because we had two more days. Bayern are always considered to be in trouble when they have lost a game. And if they lose more than one game, the world ends. But they won the last one, against Leipzig.

“Bayern come here and will try at all costs to win the game. As always, we do everything we can to make it as difficult for them as possible. And that we find moments for ourselves. This is only possible through exceptionally good performance. We assume that Bayern will be strong. Then we just have to be very strong to stand up to them. I trust the boys to do that.”

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Bayern Munich

Thomas Tuchel: “It’s been a good week. A win always helps everyone, particularly a last-minute win. It’s given us confidence and a positive general feeling. We’ve had a good week, the messaging hasn’t changed much. We’re carrying on. Tomorrow it’s about being ready. The focus is more than ever on the here and now.

“They’re [Freiburg] very flexible, very variable and do a lot of running. They carry the ball well down the right with Doan. Grifo on the left tries to be a threat with crosses from deep. They also use long balls with up to seven attacking players. We need answers and that’s what we’ll prepare the team for. It’s always passionate in Freiburg, too.

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“There’s not less pressure – the pressure comes from within, which I do myself. You know you’re working at the highest level. I expect myself to stand up to that. It’s about the here and now, training and the meeting are the next steps. Of course we try to win every game and achieve our goals. We know our situation in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League. We have to give it our all tomorrow and deliver. That’s where all our energy has to go.”



25/02/24  Augsburg (a) 2-1 L  (Bundesliga)

22/02/24  Lens (h) 3-2 W  (Europa league)

18/02/24  Eintracht Frankfurt (h) 3-3 D  (Bundesliga)

15/02/24  Lens (a) 0-0 D  (Europa League)

09/02/24  Borussia Dortmund (a) 3-0 L  (Bundesliga0

Bayern Munich

24/02/24  RB Leipzig (h) 2-1 W  (Bundesliga)

18/02/24  VfL Bochum (a) 3-2 L  (Bundesliga)

14/02/24  Lazio (a) 1-0 L  (Champions League)

10/02/24  Bayer Leverkusen (a) 3-0 L  (Bundesliga)

03/02/24  Borussia Mönchengladbach (h) 3-1 W  (Bundesliga)

Last time:

The corresponding fixture at the Europa Park last season took place on matchday 27 and saw Bayern take revenge on Freiburg for knocking them out of the DFB Pokal just days earlier. A long-range effort from defender Matthijs de Ligt decided the game in the visitor’s favour, although the hosts did go close to equalising late on with headers from Matthias Ginter.

Players to watch:


The return of Matthias Ginter couldn’t come soon enough for Freiburg with the hope that their talismanic centre back can add some much needed steel to their back line and stop the leak of goals that has seen them enter a negative spiral of results. With Harry Kane leading the Bayern line, Ginter will need to be on top of his game. 

Bayern Munich

The goals of Harry Kane are always going to be a guarantee for Bayern even when they are not playing at their absolute best as his brace last week against Leipzig proved. He is currently on 27 for the season and with eleven games left he will still have ambitions to get close, if not beat the season scoring record of 41 set by Robert Lewandowski in 20121. Freiburg’s defensive frailties at the moment will give him optimism that he can increase his total on Friday.

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About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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