Preview: SC Freiburg a stumbling block?
Perhaps it was a welcome break for Niko Kovač this time. Preparing for matches during the international matches is often highly problematic, but after the elimination against Liverpool, it offered the players a little distraction.
The 6-0 victory over Mainz 05 before the international break was very important from a psychological point of view. Kovač can now fully concentrate on the two remaining competitions. And now the crucial phase begins.
The stumbling blocks from the first half of the season have been impressively swept away by the Munich team. Often, however, it is the games in which everyone expects a resounding victory that suddenly cause a surprise. For example, Dortmund left points in Nuremberg. The Bavarians for their part could only manage draws against Freiburg and Fortuna Düsseldorf in their earlier meetings.
Both teams were clearly individually inferior but left their hearts on the field of the Alianz Arena. Through running stamina, aggressiveness and tactical discipline, they managed to make life difficult for Bayern and at the same time relieve the pressure on them when they won the ball.
That should be warning enough for the record champions. Despite the run that the Reds are currently on in the league, winning such games is not a given. Freiburg is a difficult team to play in its own stadium.
It’s all the more important, in addition to the right attitude, to keep the ball safely in one’s own ranks and not to rush things. Patience is a virtue that could be necessary, especially in Freiburg.
Streich’s team has again managed to position itself in the no-man’s-land of the Bundesliga. Considering the financial resources available, this is an outstanding performance. The team always has a few problems when it is forced to play the game itself. But in the end that won’t be the case against Bayern.
The SC can bring its strengths to bear here: compact defense, aggressive and disciplined approach, fast and safe movement and quick strikes in the few transition moments they are afforded.
Even though goal scorer Nils Petersen may be absent, this is a game that is made for the Freiburg team. It’s easy to imagine that Streich will use a chain of five. He knows about the weaknesses of the Bavarians when it comes to prying out low-level opponents who are compact and well organized.
It is therefore important for the FCB to develop forward solutions in the game. We need the depth that James with his passing and Müller with his running could give.
In principle, it’ s exactly the same as the last three Bundesliga games. But Freiburg can be expected to be more aggressive.
So it will be a real test that will demand a lot from the Bavarians. A victory is essential to stay at the top of the table. The clash with Borussia Dortmund is starting to heat up and it is the supposedly guaranteed victories that can turn into unpleasant stumbling blocks in the end.