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We'll have to be on top form, coach warns

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We'll have to be on top form, coach warns

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:20 pm

It looks like a formality on paper: the bottom club against the side in second, with the league's worst defence against the best attack. Elsewhere in Europe, the only debate would be over the size of the thrashing handed out by the favourites, but in the Bundesliga, the underdogs can never be entirely written off. Thus it is that Bayern are wary ahead of Saturday's trip to SC Freiburg (Live in English from 6.30 pm CET on Web Radio).

"We can't simply show up in Freiburg and expect to win. We'll need to turn in a top performance," head coach Jupp Heynckes warned on Friday ahead of the clash in front of a capacity crowd at MAGE SOLAR Stadium. Speaking a day earlier, Jerome Boateng called for the same attitude and motivation as would undoubtedly be required in a meeting with the likes of Borussia Dortmund.

There is always a danger in a situation like Saturday's, especially with a huge fixture in the offing: FCB travel to Basel in the Champions League first knockout round next Wednesday. "We can't let that get on our minds," said Boateng. Heynckes issued a similar statement: "Thinking about Basel is forbidden!"

The focus is on Freiburg, a club with no stars meriting the description, coached by relative unknown Christian Streich. The average age of the team sent out by the club from the Breisgau region in an unlucky 3-2 defeat away to Wolfsburg last weekend was just 23.3 years, the youngest Freiburg side ever to take the field in the Bundesliga.

Initiative with Bayern

Saturday's opponents have only won four matches so far this term, but their recent outings have been characterised by energy and hard running. "And it's not just that they cover plenty of kilometres, they're very quick and aggressive," Heynckes remarked. The 66-year-old praised Freiburg's good pressing game and carefree attitude, but for all that, Munich start as overwhelming favourites.

"Obviously, Freiburg have weaknesses," Heynckes said, "and we have to exploit that. It's down to us. We have to win again, and continue the trend of the last two matches, our 'mini streak'." Boateng feels FCB are currently in good shape: "Our confidence has returned," the defender said. Freiburg midfielder Johannes Flum made no secret of his respect for the Barbarians: "Obviously, it'll be tough against Bayern, they're slowly but surely picking up steam."

Four men out for FCB

Freiburg has usually been a happy hunting ground for Germany's biggest club, as more than 11 years have passed since Munich dropped points there. The sides drew 1-1 on that occasion, with the visitors' goal scored by Carsten Jancker, now a youth coach with Rapid Vienna.

Naturally enough, the towering veteran will not appear in Bayern colours on Saturday, and neither will injured foursome Bastian Schweinsteiger (ankle), Daniel van Buyten (metatarsal), Diego Contento (toe) and Breno (knee surgery). For Freiburg, Streich is without Mensur Mujdza (metatarsal), Julian Schuster (knee), Pavel Krmas (sprain) and in all probability Anton Putsila (calf). On the other hand, Africa Cup of Nations participant Gara Dembélé returns to the squad.

Home side target a point 'at least'

"We're looking forward to the match and we're aiming for a result which brings us a point - at least," a combative Streich declared in the build-up to the match. Are his players in a similar frame of mind? They surely have not forgotten the reverse fixture, which turned out to be one of the Bundesliga's rare thrashings, as Freiburg set out for home on the back of a 7-0 hiding - although at the time, Streich was only the assistant coach.
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