Bayern boss Heynckes starts his fourth stint with aim of reviving stuttering club
>> BERLIN: Bayern Munich will play their first game under returning coach Jupp Heynckes when they host Freiburg today.
The 72-year-old, who won the treble with the club in 2013, is tasked with reviving Bayern’s stuttering season after his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti was dismissed two weeks ago.
Bayern are five points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga table, and have won just two of their last five league fixtures.
Today’s game against Freiburg is a must-win for the champions, as they look to start afresh under Heynckes.
Dortmund, meanwhile, face a top four clash with RB Leipzig as they aim to consolidate their position at the top of the table.
Heynckes begins his fourth spell in charge at Bayern Munich and has warned that there may not be an overnight fix to their problems.
“I have analysed the team’s current condition,” said Heynckes at his presentation earlier this week. “It’s a difficult situation.”
Bayern are still without first choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, and Franck Ribery is also out of action having picked up a knee injury against Hertha Berlin.
Nonetheless, Bayern’s record against today’s opponents is reason for optimism. They have never lost at home to Freiburg, and have won all of their last 13 home games against them.
Dortmund will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak as they host RB Leipzig.
Dortmund are yet to lose in the league this season, and have established themselves as the team to beat in the title race.
There are, however, defensive concerns for Peter Bosz’s side, with Raphael Guerreiro, Marcel Schmelzer, Erik Durm and Lukasz Piszczek all injured.
For fourth placed Leipzig, the game is a chance to muscle in on the title race. Victory would see them narrow the gap between themselves and Dortmund to just three points.
They may be without star striker Timo Werner, who has been struggling with breathing and circulation issues in recent weeks.
Hoffenheim are hoping to bounce back from two consecutive defeats when they host fellow high flyers Augsburg.
Third in the table and equal on points with Bayern Munich, Julian Nagelsmann’s side suffered two big setbacks with defeats to Ludogorets Razgrad and Freiburg before the international break.
(kick-offs 8.30pm, Thai time, unless stated)
Today Bayern Munich v Freiburg, Hoffenheim v Augsburg, Hertha Berlin v Schalke, Mainz v Hamburg, Hanover v Eintracht Frankfurt, Dortmund v RB Leipzig (11.30pm)
Tomorrow Leverkusen v Wolfsburg, Bremen v Moenchengladbach (11pm)
New Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes, centre, poses with his players.