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October 29, 2010 7:30 PM BST
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Bundesliga Preview: Bayern Munich - Freiburg

Bayern will hope to ride their Pokal momentum into a potentially tricky tie with Freiburg.

By Clark Whitney

Bundesliga FC Bayern München - SC Freiburg: Mensur Mujdza & Thomas Müller (Bongarts/Getty)
Bayern Face Another 'Do-Or-Die' Situation

It took just over a minute for Bayern to concede the opening goal in Tuesday’s DFB Pokal clash with Werder Bremen. However, after a somewhat fortunate equaliser, the reigning champions earned a 2-1 victory through a tremendous, 30-yard strike from Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The result was received as a stroke of luck. Bremen defender Sebastian Proedl had a seemingly legitimate goal called back, and the Hanseaten failed to convert on a half-dozen other opportunities. Nonetheless, Bayern were winners on the day, and advanced to the next round of the Pokal.

Heading into this weekend, Bayern will hope to build some momentum and ease the burden posed by an ever-steepening gap between their table position and the leaders. On Wednesday, vice-captain Philipp Lahm revealed that their league standing has weighed heavily upon the shoulders of his team-mates.

“The mental effort is destroying us, because the distance to make up is 12 points,” he told Sport-Bild.

Ahead of Friday’s encounter, coach Louis van Gaal demanded that that his team concentrate for the full 90 minutes, and not just in phases.

” The match is another 'do-or-die' situation," he said.

Injury-Hit Freiburg Favour Odds

With 15 points from nine matches, Freiburg have enjoyed a very impressive start to their Bundesliga campaign. Considered relegation candidates before the start of the season, they are nearly halfway to the near-certain safety of 40 points. In fact, the team from Germany’s southwestern corner currently stands just a point behind a top three standing, even though their goal difference is a mediocre zero.

Freiburg’s success has come as quite a surprise, but can be explained by the absolutely scintillating form of striker Papiss Cisse. The Senegalese striker has netted eight of his team’s 14 Bundesliga goals; Freiburg’s next highest scorer, Jan Rosenthal, has scored just three times.

Cisse’s league-leading tally may have nearly led Freiburg out of the woods already, but there remains plenty to be done if the Breisgau-based side are to avoid the drop. Their 2-1 loss to second division side Energie Cottbus on Tuesday was more than a little suggestive of Freiburg’s shortcomings.

In that match, Cisse equalised midway through the second half, but even he couldn’t win the game; Emil Jula netted a late winner, and Cottbus advanced.

Heading into Friday’s clash, Freiburg are facing a bit of an injury crisis. Cedric Makiadi and Kisho Yano are questionable after sustaining midweek knocks, and there are more than half a dozen other players missing from Robin Dutt’s squad. However, the coach has not been discouraged by his shortage of personnel, and reckons his side have a chance:

“Bayern are missing a few really important players, so it is a duel of equals.”

TEAM NEWS

Bayern Munich

Daniel van Buyten is expected to return to the starting line-up, meaning that either Andreas Ottl or Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will be sacrificed. Miroslav Klose injured his hamstring on Wednesday, and is expected to be out for three weeks. Diego Contento and Franck Ribery, meanwhile, are approaching full fitness but will need at least another week to recover. Long-term casualties Breno and Arjen Robben are still well short of match fitness.

Probable Starting XI: Butt – Lahm, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Pranjic – Ottl, Schweinsteiger – Altintop, Kroos, Mueller – Gomez

Freiburg

As mentioned above, Cedric Makiadi and Kisho Yano are questionable, but may well play on Friday. Jonathan Jaeger, Johannes Flum, Simon Pouplin, Heiko Butscher, Jan Rosenthal, Pavel Krmas, and Tommy Bechmann, on the other hand, are definite absentees.

Probable Starting XI: Baumann – Mujdza, Barth, Toprak, Bastians – Schuster – Nicu, Makiadi, Caligiuri, Abdessadki – Cisse



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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Hans-Jörg ButtGoalkeeper
23Danijel PranjicMidfielder
26Martín DemichelisDefender
44Anatoliy TymoshchukMidfielder
21Philipp LahmDefender
25Thomas MüllerStriker
31Bastian SchweinsteigerMidfielder
39Toni KroosMidfielder
16Andreas OttlMidfielder
4Hamit AltıntopMidfielder
33Mario GomezStriker
1Thomas KraftGoalkeeper
-Nicola SansoneStriker
11Ivica OlicStriker
5Edson BraafheidDefender
5Daniel Van BuytenDefender
1Oliver BaumannGoalkeeper
22Felix BastiansDefender
21Ömer ToprakDefender
4Oliver BarthDefender
24Mensur MujdzaDefender
-Anton PutsilaMidfielder
6Yacine AbdessadkiMidfielder
6Cedrick MakiadiMidfielder
23Julian SchusterMidfielder
10Maximilian NicuMidfielder
9Papiss CisséStriker
26Manuel SalzGoalkeeper
35Daniel SereinigDefender
4Ivica BanovicMidfielder
27Stefan ReisingerStriker
-Zvonko PamicMidfielder
28Daniel WilliamsDefender
7Daniel CaligiuriMidfielder
Players to Watch
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 31
Games Goals YC RC
20 3 4 0
Believe it or not, the 26-year old is Bayern’s top scorer in all competitions. Schweinsteiger netted a pair of goals in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen, the second of which was an absolute stunner from 30 yards. A leader in every sense of the word, he will be keen to set an example.
Papiss Cissé
Papiss Cissé
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Bundesliga’s top scorer this far, Cisse has a remarkable 10 goals in 11 appearances in all competitions. Having scored twice in the past week, the Senegal international has shown no signs of letting up, and will be a real threat up front.
Probable Lineups
Hans-Jörg Butt 22
Danijel Pranjic 23
Martín Demichelis 26
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk 44
Philipp Lahm 21
Thomas Müller 25
Bastian Schweinsteiger 31
Toni Kroos 39
Andreas Ottl 16
Hamit Altıntop 4
Mario Gomez 33
Oliver Baumann 1
Felix Bastians 22
Ömer Toprak 21
Oliver Barth 4
Mensur Mujdza 24
Anton Putsila 0
Yacine Abdessadki 6
Cedrick Makiadi 6
Julian Schuster 23
Maximilian Nicu 10
Papiss Cissé 9
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
Striker
Dortmund
18 4
Mario Mandzukic Mario Mandzukic
Striker
Bayern
18 0
Adrian Ramos Adrian Ramos
Striker
Hertha BSC
16 3
Josip Drmic Josip Drmic
Striker
FC Nürnberg
16 2
Marco Reus Marco Reus
Midfielder
Dortmund
15 5