Bayern Munich will aim to hold onto the top spot in the Bundesliga when they take on Freiburg in the last game before the November international break.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will look to continue their stay at the top of the table when they take on Freiburg on Saturday.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side have won eight of their ten top-flight games so far and hold a one-point advantage over Borussia Dortmund. A win will guarantee them the top spot ahead of next week’s international break.

Die Roten are coming on the back of an impressive 5-2 win over SL Benfica in the UEFA Champions League earlier in the week. Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick and was unsurprisingly the hero of the night.

Freiburg go into the game as underdogs. However, they have shown a level of grit this season and have emerged as surprise contenders for a Champions League birth. While the season is still young, they can make a statement of sorts by holding Bayern. Three points for the visitors will see them draw level with their opponents in the Bundesliga standings.

The game will also prove to be a tactical tussle between Bayern’s irresistible attack and Freiburg’s rock-solid defence. With ten games gone, Bayern have scored an incredible 38 goals while Freiburg, for their part, have let in just seven. Who crumbles on the evening at the Allianz Arena remains to be seen.

The Hard Tackle looks at how both teams could line up and what tactics they might employ on Saturday.

Team News & Tactics

Bayern Munich

Sven Ulreich is the only man confirmed to be out for Bayern. Eric Maxim Chupo-Moting failed to make the bench against Benfica and is doubtful to feature at the weekend. Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez were also rested against Benfica and could return to the lineup against Freiburg.

Julian Nagelsmann has an otherwise full-strength side available for selection. The young manager, too, returned to the sidelines against Benfica after recovering from COVID-19.

The German champions look set to start in their 4-2-3-1 system. Manuel Neuer is the automatic starter in goal with Dayot Upamecano and Niklas Sule in front of him. Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, meanwhile, look set to start on the flanks.

The impressive Joshua Kimmich and Marcel Sabitzer will be entrusted with winning the midfield battle and giving those ahead of them the freedom to stream forward and attack. It is in the attack that Bayern’s strength lies. The trio of Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman behind Robert Lewandowski form a formidable attacking lineup.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Hernandez, Sule, Upamecano, Pavard; Sabitzer, Kimmich; Sane, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski

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Freiburg

The German upstarts do have several players unavailable for the game. Nils Petersen is ruled out with an injury and will not feature on Saturday. Meanwhile, Christian Streich may also have to do without Jonathan Schmid, Kimberley Ezekwem and Roland Sallai.

Freiburg have utilized a 3-4-3 system to great effect this season. Streich surprisingly went with four at the back last weekend but could return to his familiar setup against Bayern. It will not come as a surprise if what is deployed becomes more of a compact 3-4-2-1.

Playing three at the back against a pacy, direct Bayern side is asking for trouble, and Freiburg can be expected to revert to five at the back to cut off passing lanes and overcrowd the Bayern attackers when in possession. The setup does hand the visitors an opportunity to shift tactics as per the requirement.

Mark Flekken will start in goal, behind the defensive trio of Manuel Gulde, Nico Schlotterbeck and Philipp Lienhart. Lukas Kubler and Christian Gunter look set to start wide on the flank. The duo will have to be on their toes against the likes of Coman and Sane and can not afford to push too far forward, leaving spaces to run into behind them.

It will not come as a surprise if Freiburg’s wing-backs adopt a more structured layout to keep their shape. The midfield duo of Maximilian Eggestein and Nicolas Hofler could have their hands full against Kimmich and Sabitzer. The duel could prove to be the difference-maker on the day.

Meanwhile, Vincenzo Grifo and Kevin Schade will be tasked with fashioning opportunities for Lucas Holer, who is expected to lead the line for the visitors.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Flekken; Gulde, Schotterbeck, Lienhart; Kubler, Hofler, Eggestein, Gunter; Schade, Grifo; Holer

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Key Stats

  • No other team has scored more goals than Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season (38).
  • Freiburg have conceded the least goals in the Bundesliga this season (7).
  • Bayern Munich have scored in each and every one of their league games this season.
  • Freiburg have won just one of their last 36 meeting against Bayern. They have picked up a single point in their last 17 trips to Bayern.
  • Bayern Munich and Freiburg are the only Bundesliga teams to score four goals from corners this season.

Player to Watch

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski headed to Madrid next year? (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Lewandowski is a test like no other. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Polish striker is arguably the best forward in world football today and continues to make a mockery of scoring goals. While Freiburg might have been defensively resolute this season, they will not have faced a player of Lewandowski’s stature. Fresh off a hat-trick against Benfica midweek, the 33-year-old could even afford to miss a penalty on the night.

With 22 goals in 16 appearances for Bayern this season, Lewandowski continues to take his game to higher levels. A juggernaut of a forward, he can also hold up the ball and bring the attackers behind him into play. Facing off against the Pole will be the real litmus test for the Freiburg defence.

Prediction

Bayern Munich 3-0 Freiburg

Freiburg have shown their potential this season and could go on to enjoy a successful season. However, in Bayern, they face a different beast. Nagelsmann’s team is brimming with quality and have many difference-makers who Freiburg could find difficult to pin down.

More so, playing at home, Bayern appear to hold all the aces going into the game. It promises to be an interesting tactical bout, but Bayern have the edge that can see them outwit their opponents on the day.

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