Bayern Munich gear up for their final away match of the 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign as they take on SC Freiburg on Saturday.
After securing their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title last weekend, Bayern Munich will be hoping to end their season on a positive note, as they travel to Schwarzwald Stadion to face SC Freiburg on Saturday.
The Bavarians are heading into this with a healthy ten-point lead at the top, with a chance to further extend their record. The Rekordmeister, though, have nothing much to play for as a team, apart from the fact that this will be the final away game for many notable players as well as the coach Hansi Flick.
The German is leaving the Bayern camp at the end of the season, with the club already announcing Julian Nagelsmann as his successor. He will be hoping to end his term on a strong note, ahead of a likely switch to Die Mannschaft, where he could replace Joachim Low.
SC Freiburg, meanwhile, still have much to play for as they are still in with an outside chance of finishing in the top seven that will ensure entry to the newly introduced UEFA Europe Conference League next season.
Freiburg are currently ninth in the league table, just two points behind seventh-placed Gladbach, so a win over Bayern Munich could be critical if they are to remain in the fight. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two clubs ahead of their enticing encounter in the Bundesliga this weekend.
Team News & Tactics
Christian Streich won’t have to deal with too many injury-related absentees, aside from the doubtful defensive pair of Manuel Gulde and Dominique Heintz. Freiburg already has a stable defensive line, with former Real Madrid youngster Philipp Lienhart partnering Keven Schlotterbeck, with additional support from the two full-backs in Lukas Kubler and Christian Gunter.
Streich’s side generally like to play a high-octane defensive game, with midfielders like Bastiste Santamaria and Niklas Hofler primarily looking to create turnovers in key areas of the park.
Even the wide players in Vincenzo Grifo and Jonathan Schmid have an excellent knowledge of when to press the opposing ball-carrier and can expertly use their cover shadows to minimise passing area.
And finally, the onus will be on the two frontline strikers in Ermedin Demirovic and Lucas Holer. Demirovic is a speedy customer and can cause problems on the counter while Holer is a hard-working individual, who is more than capable of winning the ball back for his team.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Flekken; Kübler, Lienhart, Schlotterbeck, Günter; Schmid, Santamaria, Höfler, Grifo; Demirovic, Höler
During the pre-match press conference, Hansi Flick has confirmed he will start Alexander Nubel in goal against Freiburg. It suggests a potential change of scenery as far as the starting eleven is concerned, especially with Leon Goretzka picking up a knock in the last game.
Flick: "Alexander Nübel will start tomorrow" pic.twitter.com/ptS79K37gu
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) May 14, 2021
One of the players hoping to earn a start is Niklas Sule, ahead of Lucas Hernandez. The German has struggled with injuries and needs to be integrated back into first-team football ahead of Euros. As such, he could start alongside Jerome Boateng at the heart of the four-man defence, with Benjamin Pavard and Alphonso Davies operating as full-backs.
Bayern could opt for a left-sided overload due to Davies’ pace and attacking prowess. The Canadian will hope to offer the additional support for winger Leroy Sane, who might get the nod ahead of Kingsley Coman, with Serge Gnabry operating on the opposite flank.
In midfield, Goretzka’s injury means David Alaba could once again be set for a start in holding midfield, alongside Joshua Kimmich. Marc Roca does remain an option, but it appears unlikely he will be given a chance by Flick.
There shouldn’t be any changes in the focal point of the Bayern Munich attack, though, with Robert Lewandowski leading the line alongside Thomas Muller. Jamal Musiala is a potential alternative, either out wide or in a central role while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting can always replace Lewandowski if required.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Nubel; Pavard, Sule, Boateng, Davies; Kimmich, Alaba; Gnabry, Muller, Sane; Lewandowski
- SC Freiburg have only won one of their last 35 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern – on Matchday 33 of the 2014/15 campaign.
- Former Bayern man Nils Petersen scored the winner that day. Freiburg’s all-time leading marksman struck twice in nine Bundesliga appearances in his one season at the record champions, in 2011/12.
- Robert Lewandowski has scored 18 goals in 17 games against Freiburg.
- Bayern have scored at least once in their last 33 Bundesliga away games in a row – 34 would break their own Bundesliga record, set between 2012 and 2014.
- SC Freiburg have scored 49 goals this season in Bundesliga, already one more than what they managed in the entirety of the 2019/20 campaign.
Player to Watch
It is needless to say that this game will revolve around Robert Lewandowski, as the Bayern Munich forward aims to finally break the legendary Gerd Muller’s ‘impossible’ tally of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga campaign.
The former Dortmund man was on fire against Gladbach last weekend, sealing a hat-trick that extended his tally of 39 goals in just 27 Bundesliga matches. He will be hoping to score a few more to not only match Muller but also break his record – writing himself in the upper echelons of history of the German top division.
One of Lewandowski’s prime aids this weekend could be Thomas Muller, in the Ramdeuter role. Talk about using the Muller to destroy the Muller.
SC Freiburg 0-3 Bayern Munich
RB Leipzig’s defeat to Borussia Dortmund that helped Bayern Munich seal the title really set them off the leash, with the Bavarians ending up securing a monstrous 6-0 win over the Foals. They could maintain a similar level of dominance this weekend, up against a Freiburg side that has looked very inconsistent in recent weeks. Expect Lewandowski to once again star for Bayern as well as get past Gerd Muller’s historic record.