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Football | Germany

Bayern face Freiburg before Dortmund

The German footballing world, and large swathes of the game’s family around the world, can hardly wait for Saturday’s titanic Bundesliga showdown when leaders Bayern meet champions Dortmund, who are up to second in the table.

However, before all that, there is the crucial matter of Munich’s trip to so-called minnows Freiburg on Wednesday, “and there are three points at stake there too,” as Toni Kroos pointed out. Boss Jupp Heynckes laid down the law on Tuesday: “It’s not Dortmund – it’s SC Freiburg! That’s our highlight!”

In the pre-match press conference, the Bayern coach resolutely deflected questions relating to BVB on several occasions. “I’m exclusively focused on Freiburg. We’re in good form and want to stay in the groove,” explained Heynckes, who also said he was “making no concessions” in terms of his line-up, and remains unmoved by the fact that another yellow card for Bastian Schweinsteiger would trigger an automatic suspension.

The leaders are planning to go all-out against surprise package Freiburg, who are up to a remarkable sixth in the table. “So it’ll be a tough match,” warned Heynckes, “they’re a great unit and play courageous attacking football.” The coach has analysed Freiburg’s impressive 3-0 victory over Stuttgart on Sunday and drawn the necessary conclusions from it.

Stars acknowledge stern task

Heynckes also picks from close to a full squad, with only Arjen Robben (sports rehab training), Luiz Gustavo (groin surgery), Daniel van Buyten (flu) and Emre Can (ligaments) definitely sidelined. The Munich stars are fully aware that even 99 percent will not be enough, as Mario Gomez acknowledged: “Winning inh Freiburg will be damned difficult. They have an unbelievably compact, aggressive team, and they’re very adventurous, especially at home. But we know this."

As Freiburg boss Streich clearly stated, he has no intention of abandoning his normal tactics despite Wednesday’s big-name visitors. “The standards I set are relatively high, and I'm not going to reduce them just because it's Bayern," he declared.

“We'll have to give it absolutely everything if we’re to have a chance," he continued. The league leaders will of course attempt to match and then better the home side's efforts, as they are pursuing a clear target, formulated concisely by Philipp Lahm: “For preference, we'll take the field against Dortmund with a nine point lead – nine points at the minimum."

Source: FC Bayern Munich


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