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Thiago and Martinez out

FCB keen to continue winning run

Franck Ribéry thinks it is “always tough," and Thomas Müller reckoned recent meetings have been “awkward". However, when Bayern visit SC Freiburg on Tuesday evening (live in English from 6.30 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio), the only outcome that matters will be a fourth win in four Bundesliga matches this term. “We want to continue our run," declared Pep Guardiola, while Müller regards the rearranged match, brought forward to accommodate the UEFA Super Cup final, as “a chance to go top of the table." All that is, of course, easier said than done.

Guardiola is hugely impressed by the minnows turned Europa League hopefuls from the deep south-west. “They achieved unbelievable things last season," said the coach, who has closely studied Tuesday’s opponents and analysed the two league meetings with Bayern last season. “Freiburg generate huge pressure when they attack," he said. That much was evident last Saturday when Christian Streich’s team drew 3-3 away to fast-starting Hoffenheim. On top of that, SCF are “aggressive" in defence, and are “highly capable in the build-up." The FCB boss issued an appeal to his troops: “We’ll have to play well, because if we don't, we won't win."

Focused and patient

Munich have happy memories of their last visit to the Breisgau region in late November 2012, when Müller contributed a goal in a 2-0 victory. “Tactically, they’re very disciplined," noted the Germany international. Bastian Schweinsteiger described SCF as “very strong at home. They've come on really well under Streich. We'll have to concentrate hard right from the start and we might need to be patient."

Previous matches may well have been awkward and uncomfortable, but the record books heavily favour another Bayern success, as FCB have not lost to Freiburg in 22 matches spanning 17 years, with the most recent of only three defeats dating back to March 1996. Overall, the Reds have won 21 of the 29 meetings, and aim to make it 22 on Tuesday. “The most important thing for us at the moment is to take the points and keep a clean sheet," stated Schweinsteiger.

Thiago and Martinez out

Will Guardiola choose to rotate his squad after the Nürnberg derby and with an eye on Friday’s Super Cup? “We'll decide this evening," the coach said on Monday. His selection options are a little less broad this week, as Holger Badstuber remains on the long-term injury list, Thiago is out until the autumn with damaged ankle ligaments, and Javi Martinez, who was unavailable at the weekend, has still not shaken off a groin strain.

Freiburg, who have started with two defeats and the draw in Hoffenheim, are also without key individuals. Francis Coquelin and Admir Mehmedi are suspended, Vegar Hedenstad is definitely out injured, and both striker Mike Hanke and centre-back Fallou Diagne are doubtful with knee problems. “It's a normal Bundesliga fixture against Bayern Munich," said iconic coach Streich, seeking to relieve any pressure on his team. “We have to approach it with courage, a good attitude and pleasure," he urged. Guardiola is taking nothing for granted: “I know how tough it will be."

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