Freiburg – Bayern Munich Preview: Both teams looking to follow up impressive weekend wins

Freiburg boss Christian Streich will be forced into one change from the side that beat local rivals Stuttgart 3-0 on Saturday. Mensur Mejdza picked up his fifth Bundesliga yellow card of the season, and will be replaced by Vegar Eggen Hedenstad.

Elsewhere, Matthias Ginter remains sidelined with a back injury and Immanuel Hohn has a leg problem. Otherwise, they have a full squad from which to pick their team for the visit of the Bavarians.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich could have the luxury of bringing Mario Gomez back into the starting line-up after the Germany international scored within seconds of coming off the bench against Hannover on Saturday.

Should the former Stuttgart man return, Mario Mandzukic will drop to the bench. Another goalscorer from the weekend, Javi Martinez, looks to be assured of a start thanks to Luiz Gustavo’s groin complaint, while Arjen Robben is lacking fitness after a series of knocks and Emre Can has a ligament injury.

  • Freiburg’s 0-0 draw with the Bavarians on matchday 22 last season was the only time they have avoided defeat against them in the last 13 meetings between the two sides.
  • The biggest losses that Freiburg have suffered both home and away were at the hands of the Bayern, who won 6-0 at the Mage Solar Stadion in 2003-04, and 7-0 at the Allianz Arena last term.
  • Mario Gomez (pictured, right) scored four times during Bayern Munich‘s victory over Freiburg last season.
  • Szabolcs Huszti has registered a total of seven assists in the Bundesliga this season, one more than Franck Ribery.
  • Jan Schlaudraff will be returning to his former home on Saturday, having endured a disappointing season at the Allianz Arena in 2007-08.

Javi Martinez: I am enjoying life at Bayern

Javi Martinez says that he feels at home in his new surroundings at the Allianz Arena following his move to Bayern Munich.

The Spain international scored his first goal for the club on Saturday with an acrobatic over-head kick in Bayern’s 5-0 victory over Hannover, and the ex-Athletic Bilbao midfielder says he has much more to offer.

“My colleagues have really helped me a lot,” he told Kicker.

“I feel at home in Bavaria and I will keep getting better. The plan is to do it slowly, proceed step by step.┬áLast year was very hard for me. The goal on Saturday proves I am on my way.”

Following comments from Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes that Martinez was affected by the number of games he played last season for Bilbao, the 24-year old admitted it had impacted on his displays for his new side.

“The coach is right, last season I finished in Bilbao [having played] over 60 games in all competitions,” he said.

“After such a tough season you actually need a longer break than normal, but because of the two major tournaments I did not get the time off that I needed, and wanted, before my start over here at Bayern.”

Robben nearing Bayern Munich comeback

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has received some encouraging news on the injury front as Arjen Robben is nearing a comeback after spending the past two weeks on the sidelines due to physical problems.

The winger picked up a minor muscle injury in Netherlands’ international friendly against Germany earlier this month, and has been out of action ever since.

Robben missed the games against Nurnberg, Valencia and Hannover due to the knock, but the Bavarians are hopeful he will be match fit in time to face Borussia Dortmund next Saturday.

“We’re making steps forward day after day. My recovery is going well, and according to schedule,” Robben told TZ.

The 28-year-old resumed individual training at the weekend, and is expected to take part in squad training again on Monday for the first time since his injury.

A return against Freiburg on Wednesday seems out of the question, but the match against Dortmund is now a realistic goal.

Bundesliga Team of the Week: Lahm, Ribery, Martinez & Muller star for rampant Bayern Munich

With a total of 22 goals scored across nine games, Round 13 of the Bundesliga proved to be every bit as thrilling as previous weeks.

Bayern Munich marched on with a 5-0 thrashing of Hannover, and Borussia Dortmund followed up their 4-1 demolition of Ajax by coming from behind to beat Mainz 2-1.

Elsewhere there were great wins for Freiburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf, while high-flyers Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt both took a share of the spoils, and was there to pick out the star performers in every position.

In goal we have Fabian Giefer of Dusseldorf. The Austria international put in a fine showing between the sticks as the club finally claimed their first home win since making their return to the top flight this season.

In front of him, we have Philipp Lahm, who was typically composed at the back and going forward for Bayern, Pavel Krmas and the scorer of the all-important second goal for Freiburg in their derby win over Stuttgart. Bastian Oczipka, who helped contain Schalke’s all-star attack and set up an equaliser for Frankfurt, completes the back line.

Another Freiburg star included is Max Kruse, who was also on the scoresheet, while Javi Martinez‘s first Bayern goal, an acrobatic strike, sees him included for the first time. Lars Bender got Bayern Leverkusen off and running against Hoffenheim and finally we have Franck Ribery, who makes his seventh appearance in our dream team.

Thomas Muller completes the Bayern quartet after keeping up his excellent form this season, Bas Dost extended his scoring run for Wolfsburg, and Robbie Kruse found the net in Dusseldorf’s victory on Friday.

Gomez: Bayern Munich must win the Bundesliga

Mario Gomez has stressed that winning the Bundesliga title is an absolute must for Bayern Munich this term following their lack of success in the previous two campaigns.

The Bavarians have not won a major trophy since winning the domestic double in 2010, and Gomez has insisted that they have to keep up their current form in order to win silverware again this season.

“The important thing is that we continue our run through to Christmas and don’t let up,” Gomez told reporters in the wake of Bayern’s 5-0 win over Hannover.

“We’ve won nothing for two seasons, so we have to win the league. We’re on track, provided we keep it up.

“We were on track last year as well, only to veer off course. That mustn’t happen this season.”

Bayern currently sit atop of the Bundesliga table and hold a nine-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund.