Preview: Freiburg vs. Bayern Munich

Preview: Freiburg vs. Bayern Munich

Champions League-chasing Freiburg will welcome league leaders Bayern Munich to the SC-Stadion for their eagerly-anticipated Bundesliga clash on Saturday afternoon.

The two teams with the best defensive records in this season’s German top flight will lock horns; the visitors have conceded only 28 goals so far, one fewer than Freiburg’s 29, and both sides have also kept a league-high nine clean sheets.

Freiburg’s hopes of making their first-ever Champions League appearance next season remain in sight, despite playing out a goalless draw with basement club Greuther Furth in their most recent game on March 19.

The Breisgau-Brasilianer have already matched last season’s points tally of 45 with seven Bundesliga games remaining and they are currently sitting fifth in the table, level on points with fourth-placed RB Leipzig and three points behind Bayer Leverkusen in third.

Christian Streich has witnessed the ups and downs during his 11-year tenure at Freiburg, including a fleeting experience in the 2013-14 Europa League, before relegation from the Bundesliga a year later was followed up with promotion back to the top-flight at the first attempt. In front of their fans in a newly-built SC-Stadion, his side are enjoying a purple patch this campaign and are on course to create history.

While a top-four place in the Bundesliga is high on the agenda, the Black Forest side will also have one eye on their DFB-Pokol semi-final against second-tier side Hamburger SV on April 19, as they bid to reach the final for the very first time.

Streich’s men, however, will be focused on Saturday’s game against German giants Bayern Munich, a side they have beaten only once in their last 37 meetings against them – a 2-1 home victory in May 2015.

Freiburg are unbeaten in their last six league games, the longest current run in the German top flight, and they will be confident of causing an upset this weekend, having played out a 2-2 draw against the Bavarian outfit on home soil last season. Victory for Streich would see him break Volker Finke’s record of 104 victories as the club’s head coach.

While Freiburg are in the hunt for a top-four finish, Bayern Munich are on course to claim their 10th successive Bundesliga title as they currently sit six points clear of Borussia Dortmund in second with seven games remaining.

A comfortable 4-0 success last time out against Union Berlin was their 20th league victory of the campaign, with star striker Robert Lewandowski netting a brace in that game to take his Bundesliga tally to 31 goals from just 27 matches, 11 strikes more than his nearest challenger Patrik Schick.

While Bayern will have one eye on next week’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash in Spain against Villarreal, they now turn their attention to Saturday’s contest with Freiburg, a side against whom they have an impressive goalscoring record, having found the net in each of their previous 17 meetings, scoring at least twice on 12 of these occasions.

The Bavarian outfit have only lost two of their last 19 games across all competitions; however, they have looked vulnerable defensively in recent weeks, keeping only three clean sheets in their last 12 matches across all competitions.

Bayern have also failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last seven league meetings with Freiburg, and head into this weekend’s game having won only one of their last four away fixtures, so Julian Nagelsmann’s men will need to be on top of their game if they wish to claim maximum points in the Black Forest.

Freiburg Bundesliga form:
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Freiburg form (all competitions):
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Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
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Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
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We say: Freiburg 1-1 Bayern Munich
Although Freiburg and Bayern currently boast the best two defensive records this season, they have both looked vulnerable at the back in recent weeks, which will give their respective attacks confidence of finding the net on Saturday.

The visitors are understandably the favourites for this fixture, but we feel that a closely-fought contest is set to be played out, and Streich’s men may do enough to claim a hard-fought point in front of their home supporters.

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