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Matchday 4: FC Bayern München vs. SC Freiburg | Preview

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A short week includes traveling southwest to Freiburg to take on a sport club that has only one point in three matches. FC Bayern, and Guardiola, look to stay perfect in their 13/14 campaign.

Alexander Hassenstein

Although both clubs have been around for more than 100 years, the size of these clubs is like comparing the country of Qatar to the Republic of China.

FC Bayern München earned promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965, while SC Freiburg earned their promotion in 1993. FC Bayern's 23 championship campaigns in the Bundesliga is more campaigns than SC Freiburg has enjoyed in the top flight.

That being said, the small southern German club qualified with the Europa League, but that was with Max Kruse and Daniel Caligiuri in the squad. Without two of their three top scorers, SC Freiburg has only managed one point in three matches.

The match seems like a predestined result, but considering the short week, packed week and a trip out of Munich, there remains room for an upset.

The Match (30th Meeting)

Location: Mage Solar Stadion, Freiburg, Germany

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

TV Listings: Gol TV (USA & Canada), BT Sport 1 (UK), Sky Bundesliga 1 | HD (Germany)

The Fixture

Records
Bundesliga: 20 W, 5 D, 3 L
DFB Pokal: 1 W, 0 L

Top Goal Scorers (Bundesliga)
1. Mario Gómez, FCB – 6
2. Carsten Jancker, FCB – 4
3. Giovane Elber, FCB; Jürgen Klinsmann, FCB; Franck Ribéry, FCB, Mehmet Scholl, FCB, Uwe Wassmer, SCF – 3

Largest Victory: 7-0 (Bundesliga: September 10, 2011, Munich, Germany; DFB Pokal: March 2, 2005, Freiburg, Germany)
Largest Defeat: 1-5 (August 23, 1994, Freiburg, Germany)
Most Goals: 4; Mario Gómez, FCB (September 10, 2011)

The Squad

Although the team FC Bayern is playing on Tuesday is not as good as the one on Friday, the game on Tuesday is, when it comes down to it, the more important game. Thus, the idea that Guardiola will save players for the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea is not a uniform opinion.

That being said, one player who could get a nod is Claudio Pizarro, due to his prior success against SC Freiburg. While only scoring once against Freiburg in Bundesliga play, he had a four-goal fest in the in the Quarterfinals of the 2005 DFB Pokal. Considering Mario Mandžukić has made all three Bundesliga starts up top, as well as starting in the first round of the DFB Pokal, maybe the Croatian will get a breather, with the Peruvian international starting in his stead.

FC Bayern are expected to have at least three absences: Holger Badstuber, Thiago Alcântara, and Javier Martínez. The big question remains if Mario Götze, who said last week that he's three or four weeks away from full fitness, will be in the Starting XI or as part of the substitutes. Perhaps the start on Saturday against 1. FC Nürnberg means that Toni Kroos will have his turn on Tuesday.

Regarding other rotations, if Guardiola does end up rotating some players, perhaps Ribéry or Arjen Robben take a seat, with Xherdan Shaqiri getting his second Bundesliga start. Additionally, with Jérôme Boateng starting on against Nürnberg, perhaps Daniel van Buyten will get the call alongside Dante. Besides those changes, it is hard to foresee any other major swaps in the squad.

Projected Lineup (4-1-4-1):

Pizarro

Ribéry – Kroos – Müller – Shaqiri

Schweinsteiger

Alaba – van Buyten – Dante – Lahm

Neuer

Bench: Starke, Boateng, Rafinha, Kirchhoff, Robben, Götze, Mandžukić

The Opponent

SC Freiburg completely superceded expectations placed upon them in 2012/13, stringing together hard-fought results to sneak into the Eurpoa League. In order to build on their success, Freiburg were almost required to have a good start before the Europa League stretched their squad depth.

That ship has sailed with Freiburg winless in their first three matches. The off-season transfer winds saw Kruse, Caligiuri, Johannes Flum and Cedric Makiadi all abandon ship. Their 3-3 draw with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim was their first point of the season, and their eight goals against is the third most in the Bundesliga through three matches. Granted, their other two opponents were Bayer Leverkusen and 1. FC Mainz 05, both of whom are perfect in their first three matches.

If performance was not enough to question their ability to challenge the Rekordmeisters, their absences definitely will. Freiburg had two players pick up red cards – a double yellow for Francis Coquelin and a straight red for Arsenal loanee Admir Mehmedi – which means they are already two players short due to suspension.

If that was not bad enough, center-back Fallou Diagne remains questionable with a knee contusion against Hoffenheim, as does striker Mike Hanke, who missed the weekend match with a knee injury. Pavel Krmas or Immanuel Höhn are the ones in the running to fill in for Diagne next to Matthias Ginter. Vegar Eggen Hedenstadt (adductor), Marko Terrazzino (patella tendon), and Vaclav Pilar (cruciate ligament tear) are all ruled out already with long-term injuries.

Even though Freiburg have so many absences, manager Christian Streich has only played in a 4-4-2 this season, even putting listed midfielders like Karim Guédé up top. What's also worth noting is that a youngster like Felix Klaus, Tim Albutat, or Christopher Jullien could be on the team sheet for the first time this season with the lack of squad depth. The limited options also leaves Streich with not a lot of rotational flexibility.

Projected Lineup (4-4-2)

Guédé – Freis

Zuck – Fernandes – Schuster – Schmid

Sorg – Ginter – Krmas – Mujdza

Baumann

Bench: Schwolow, Höhn, Günter, Höfler, Kerk, Albutat, Hanke

The Outcome

FC Bayern have not lost to SC Freiburg since March 9, 1996, and with the depth issues of Streich's squad, an upset does not look in the cards. With two consecutive clean sheets, the Bayern defense will look to continue their fine form. In conjunction, the offense will have an easier time maneuvering between a somewhat makeshift Freiburg defense, and multiple goals seem highly probable. The bigger question is who plays for both teams, not really who wins.

Projected Score: FC Bayern München 3, SC Freiburg 0