On Saturday, Bayern Munich will host sixth-placed SC Freiburg on the final matchday of the season. The Bundesliga champions will aim to end the season on a high note and prepare for celebrations at the Allianz Arena, while their opponents will look to secure a Europa League place if the result can go their way.
Freiburg are currently two points above seventh-placed Köln and are in a precarious position to earn a spot in Europe next season. To have their fate in their own hands, Freiburg would do well to earn at least a draw on Saturday, but the odds are stacked against them.
The club’s recent form is promising, with two impressive home wins against Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke. But it will take a very spirited performance to hold on against a Bayern Munich side with quality in every position.
Freiburg may feel better knowing that Bayern are struggling with injuries to goalkeepers Manual Neuer and Sven Ulreich, defender Javi Martínez, and winger Franck Ribéry. Having already won the league, Bayern might choose to play conservatively as opposed to their usual attacking style. Whereas, Freiburg are able and likely to play their strongest lineup.
On the other hand, Bayern’s thrilling win over RB Leipzig last week shows that this team is capable of pulling off a win in almost any situation. Playing at home can motivate Bayern to push for a win even more than normal.
Meanwhile, Bayern’s attention will be focused on club captain and legend Philipp Lahm and midfielder Xabi Alonso, who are on the cusp of retirement from football.
Saturday marks their last match, so the club and the fans will look to give them a proper send-off with title celebrations and hopefully a win to cap two incredibly successful careers for both club and country.
SC Freiburg (4-4-2): Schwolow; Günter, Kempf, Gulde, Ignjovski; Haberer, Höfler, Abrashi, Bulut; Philipp, Niederlechner
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Starke; Bernat, Alaba, Boateng, Lahm; Alonso, Kimmich; Costa, Thiago, Robben; Lewandowski
Bayern will look to control the match with the majority of possession as usual. They will use short passing through the middle of the pitch to break down the stubborn defense of Freiburg, keeping the pressure contained in their half.
Bayern’s skilled wingers can also add a new dimension to attacks, beating defenders and supplying crosses and key passes. Freiburg will need to be completely focused and in-sync to keep out all of Bayern’s attacking threats.
Freiburg will most likely have the greatest difficulty defending against Bayern’s skilled players and numerous attacks. They’re relatively comfortable with the other team having much of the possession in their own half, but when Bayern vary their attacks with set pieces and wing play, Freiburg could get overwhelmed.
Freiburg will most likely see some opportunities to score, but they will need to create chances on the counter and cannot afford to throw away their opportunities. If they manage to stay clinical in front of goal, then it is fully possible for them to score and make it interesting at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern 3-1 Freiburg
Although Freiburg will surely put up a determined performance against Bayern, it will likely not be enough to overcome the champions. However, since Bayern have no need to perform strongly, it is possible that they could become complacent.
But in the end, Bayern will just be looking to provide Xabi and Lahm with a suitable farewell by scoring a few goals and securing the last win of the season.