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Heynckes: We have to be highly alert

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Heynckes: We have to be highly alert

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:05 pm

Jupp Heynckes is starting his personal second half of the season 141 days after overseeing his first match this term. The 72-year-old returned to the FC Bayern dugout in the home match against SC Freiburg in mid-October, and the Bavarians turned the tide after a patchy start to the season with a rousing 5-0 victory. 17 league matches later Freiburg and Bayern meet again, and the Bavarians aim to take another three points on their way to a sixth German championship title in a row.

"We're favourites in every match of course," said Joshua Kimmich prior to Sunday's match (Live in English from 18.00 CET on our exclusive ticker) at Freiburg's Schwarzwald Stadion, and the defensive all-rounder is fired up for the encounter: "Every Bundesliga match is very special to me, no matter how many points we're ahead." Bayern have a 19-point edge at the top of the table. With ten matches to go, Bayern need four more victories to seal the sixth German championship title on the bounce.

Only one defeat since Matchday 13

But Heynckes knows a lot of work awaits his team despite their clear advantage, especially against the side lying 13th in the table. "It's going to be a tough match," said the 2013 treble-winning coach, issuing a warning. Freiburg have been "very successful over the last few weeks and months. Not only are the lads really fit, they're also very hard-running and aggressive. We have to be highly alert to win the match," stressed Heynckes.

Both the Bavarians and Freiburg have only lost one game since Matchday 13. The Breisgau side have taken 21 points since then. Only the German record champions boast more in that period at 31 points. "They're very hard-running and aggressive. They pull all players back behind the ball as quickly as possible. They close down the space and play with an enthusiasm that reflects what their coach tells them," Heynckes praised the hosts and their coach Christian Streich.

Kimmich and Boateng fit again

Heynckes must shuffle his deck after last week's goalless draw against Hertha Berlin. Besides Manuel Neuer, Kingsley Coman (syndesmosis injury), James (tight calf) and Franck Ribéry (gastroenteritis) will not be available for selection, whereas Kimmich and Jérôme Boateng are fit again. "I have to think about how I assemble the team," the Bayern coach commented on the line-up.

His counterpart at Freiburg has yet to see whether Nicolas Höfler can play. "He's had fever again, he's not at 100 percent," Streich said on Friday. Yoric Ravet, who was subbed on in Freiburg's 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim, is "an option for the attacking unit" after recovering from an Achilles tendon problem. Defensive midfielder Mike Frantz might be an alternative after being sidelined for months.

Freiburg hope to build on their strong run when they take on the men from Munich. "We want to enjoy it and play boldly. The lads must be confident," said Streich. "I always look forward to it when we face Bayern. Playing against them is always special. After all, they're the flagship in German football." However, SCF need an "exceptional day" to come out on top against the German record champions.
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