SC Freiburg v Bayern Munich – Dreisamstadion at 19:30 live on BT Sport 3
The thought that there might actually be a title race in the Bundesliga suffered a major blow before Christmas as Bayern Munich comfortably beat RB Leipzig 3-0 at the Allianz Arena to close the Hinrunde.
The result pushed Carlo Ancelotti’s charges to the top of the table and FC Hollywood’s course and distance form will probably now tell when the Bundesliga returns from the winter break.
Unless Bayern suffer an out-of-character post-winter-break slump, the defending champions appear in control of their destiny despite dropping below their supremely high standards across their first 16 fixtures.
Even so, the Bavarians still managed to succeed in 12 of their 16 league outings, as well as nine of their past 11 road trips in domestic action. Having demolished Eupen in a friendly last Tuesday, Ancelotti’s troops looked armed and ready for their 2017 assault across the three competitions.
Bayern may not run riot
Bayern begin their competitive calendar year action with a trip to Freiburg and whilst the visitors will be expecting to win this encounter, especially with Arjen Robben back in the fold, I’m not banking on the league leaders running riot.
Jerome Boateng and Thiago Alcantara are definitely out of action, Javier Martinez and Arturo Vidal are rated significant doubts and Kingsley Coman is still struggling to get over ankle and knee problems.
What’s more, FC Hollywood haven’t won any of their last 21 away matches by more than two clear goals and they’ve conceded in four of their last five road trips. I’d be backing Freiburg to extend that sorry streak on Friday.
Freiburg can keep things competitive
The hosts sit in eight position after a solid start to life back in the German top-flight. The Black Forest outfit may have signed off 2016 with only two triumphs in seven Bundesliga battles – both against the current bottom-two – but they did claim five wins from seven Schwarzwald-Stadion base.
Christian Streich’s squad have suffered six losses in eight games against the current top-10 but they’ve only failed to find the back of the net twice all season and for that reason I like the look of supporting Freiburg with a +2 start on the Asian Handicap line at 1.70.
This meeting always brings back starry-eyed memories for Freiburg fans – they hammered Bayern 5-1 back in 1995 – and although they’ve only bagged a sole success in two decades since that famous thrashing, the home side are well capable of avoiding an annihilation.
Since the start of last season, only 10/24 (42%) of Bayern’s away matches ended in victories by at least a two-goal margin with only 2/24 (8%) being bagged by three goals or more.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Freiburg +2 at 1.70
Prices correct at time of writing.
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