Title race against relegation fight. 32 years against 48 days of experience. Papiss Demba Cisse against Hamit Altintop. The…top match… of the Bundesliga weekend: SC Freiburg v FC Bayern.
17 points – Freiburg’s total now, after 22 matches. And Bayern’s total after 7.
27 goals scored – Freiburg’s result now, after 22 matches. And Bayern’s result after 10+2 minutes.
14 goals against – Bayern’s setbacks now, after 22 matches. And Freiburg’s setbacks after 5.
3 celebrations – Freiburg’s current leading goal scorers, Stefan Reisinger and Cedric Makiadi, now, after 22 matches. Mario Gomez scored 4 times at home against the Sportclub.
Enough of that. This is a match that has to be won, anything else is unacceptable. But not impossible, a serious approach is still very much needed. An early goal like against Kaiserslautern would be worth a mint, especially when we keep in mind that there’s a very important match coming up four days later in Switzerland.
Speaking of which, I expect that said Champions League match makes Jupp Heynckes change a few things on Saturday. So don’t be surprised if Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Arjen Robben replace Luiz Gustavo and Thomas Müller. Or will Robben start on Wednesday? Whatever Heynckes decides, the only surprise would be to see him benched twice. Aside from that, there’s not much to tinker about. Center backs Daniel van Buyten and Breno are still out for some time so Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng, who fortunately doesn’t seem to be injured, will (have to) start. The same applies to David Alaba who has had to face a lot of praise recently.
Bayern isn’t the only team with injury woes. Freiburg coach Christian Streich will have to do without the defenders Mensur Mujdza and Pavel Krmas and the midfielders Julian Schuster and Anton Putsila. Finally back will be striker Gerra Dembele after achieving and celebrating Mali’s third-place result at the Africa Cup of Nations, he might even start. Pay attention to their defense: the back four of Oliver Sorg, Fallou Diagne, Immanuel Höhn and Michael Lumb have played the crazy amount of a combined 13 Bundesliga matches in their careers. But don’t be fooled, left-back Michael Lumb assisted 3 goals in those first 4 matches. An argument for Thomas Müller who’d track him better than Robben? Let’s have a look at the probable lineups:
Rafinha – Boateng – Badstuber – Lahm
Tymoshchuk – Alaba
Robben – Kroos – Ribery
Caligiuri – Rosenthal – Makiadi – Schmid
Lumb – Höhn – Diagne – Sorg
What else is there to say? Let’s ask Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.
Nothing? OK. I could talk about referees but both clubs said rather stupid things about them over the last 7 days so it’s the best decision to just ignore that stuff. Let’s hope that Peter Gagelmann will be ignored. And let’s be honest, there’s no better way to avoid talking about the ref than an easy Bayern win with a couple of early goals. Make it happen.