FC Bayern will look to regain its lead in the Bundesliga when they host SC Freiburg on Saturday at 9:30 AM Eastern (15:30 PM in Munich), a game that will not be available live on TV for the U.S. and Canada. You would expect better from societies that pretend to be civilized.
Here is what we should look for.
On the Freiburg side
– This team is not among the elite of the Bundesliga, for sure. Yet, its attacking ability cannot be ignored, especially on fast counterattacks.
– The star of this team, Cissé, has shown it so far this season. Not only does he share the Bundesliga’s first place in scoring with his 4 goals, he plays explosively and takes crosses well.
– Freiburg has had problems covering opposing attackers, however. Bremen burned them for it. Not the kind of weakness you want to display against FC Bayern.
– Freiburg is tactically flexible, which is something we probably do not like. It can play a 4-4-2, a 4-2-3-1, or then a 4-1-4-1. It will be interesting to see the formation they will use in the beginning, if they want to choke the Bayern offense.
– Captain and defender Heiko Butscher will miss the action due to injury. So will midfielder Jan Rosenthal.
On the Bayern side
– Robben is missing. Don’t be surprised if you see a combo involving Kroos and Müller next to Ribéry.
– Mario Gomez has been declared fit to play.
– People are making such a big deal with the successive clean sheets that I believe it is dangerous. The defense still has to prove that it can consistently prevent goalscoring and protect Neuer.
– If Jupp Heynckes wants to get Rafinha in his rythm as a regular starter, now would probably be the time to stick him back in the formation at right-back. Missing two games before an international break doesn’t help to achieve your best form.
– I wouldn’t worry too much about having the upcoming Villareal match in mind while playing this game. So far this season, Die Bayern have show the ability to focus on the immediate goal. At least more than they did previously.
– The defensive midfield remains on the list of things to watch. I still believe that Tymoshchuk is the man I would use for this job if it were my choice.
Overall, I think that Bayern can win this game as long as they don’t get caught on furious counterattacks. Yes, I believe that the risk remains there.