Created on 15-12-2014 at 16:05 PM
All eyes on Nyon? Not quite. Pep Guardiola took a quick look at proceedings at UEFA HQ on Monday where FC Bayern were drawn against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League Round of 16. However, the Bayern coach’s immediate focus is on a place the other side of the Swiss border, namely the city of Freiburg. “I can’t accept any reason for us not looking at tomorrow’s game as the most important for us at the moment,” declared Guardiola the day before the match against SC Freiburg. The Tuesday night encounter (Live in English from 20.00 / 8 pm CET on Twitter and FCB.tv web radio) is the last Bayern home game at the Allianz Arena in 2014.
There is no sign of anybody relaxing on the home straight, with no thoughts wasted on the Champions League or the forthcoming winter break. “We haven’t achieved anything yet this season. The tinsel might be glistening in December but the trophies certainly aren’t,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as the league leaders prepare to take on the team currently lying fifteenth in the Bundesliga. “Every match starts at 0-0 and you need to fight hard in every game, including tomorrow,” said Guardiola.
The comparative positions are clear: On the one hand, FCB, on the back of ten league wins at home, are also unbeaten in their 19 previous league games and the Reds have not lost to Freiburg in 24 league meetings; on the other hand, Freiburg, without a win in four, have never won in Munich or against a team at the top of the Bundesliga.
Guardiola’s 50th league match
SC Freiburg refuse to run up the white flag before a ball has been kicked. “We’re not going into the game thinking we haven’t got a chance,” said SC coach Christian Streich. “We want to give Bayern a game. We’ll get our chances if we perform on the day.” That should not come as a surprise to Guardiola. The Bayern head coach is expecting Freiburg to be aggressive, as he explained on Monday. “We’ve got to be well prepared.”
Guardiola may well have to make do without Xabi Alonso in his 50th Bundesliga match (with a record win quota of 84 percent) as the midfielder is suffering from a cold. Guardiola said there would be a late fitness test on the day of the game. Sebastian Rode, who bruised a foot in the 4-0 win at Augsburg, may well be available. “It was just a knock. He’s strong. I don’t think it’s a major problem,” said Guardiola.
The visitors’ injury list has grown after the 0-0 draw with Hamburg at the weekend with the addition of Vladimir Darida (rib) and Jonathan Schmid (knee). Mike Frantz (shin), Maximilian Philipp (torn muscle ), Caleb Stanko (cruciate) and Philipp Zulechner (cold) are all sidelined. Sebastian Freis returns from injury and Stefan Mitrovic returns from suspension.