• Freiburg and Bayern get the Bundesliga ball rolling in 2017.
  • Bayern aiming to end first half of the season on top of the pile.
  • Freiburg keen to chop champions down to size.

League leaders FC Bayern München head to SC Freiburg for their first fixture of 2017 and the final game of the first half of the season (kick-off 20:30CET/19:30GMT).

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Freiburg ended 2016 with a four-game unbeaten run, including a 2-1 win at FC Ingolstadt 04 on Matchday 16. However, their opponents come from the other end of the table and are a side the Black Forest outfit have beaten just once in their last 24 top-fight meetings. However, that victory did come last time the sides faced each other on Matchday 33 of the 2014/15 season. Christian Streich’s side will be looking to make home advantage count as they have already done this season, with five wins in their seven league matches at the Schwarzwald-Stadion.

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A point will be enough for Bayern to secure the Herbstmeisterschaft and become winter champions for the 22nd time in their 52nd top-flight campaign. However, the record champions will also be aiming to put pressure on the chasing pack with a win to extend their lead over RB Leipzig, whom they beat 3-0 in the final game of 2016. The Bavarians begin the year on a five-game Bundesliga winning streak, having scored 14 goals and conceded just two in that period. They will, however, be without key midfielder Thiago after the Spain international picked up a thigh injury during the winter training camp in Qatar.

Bayern will be without midfield maestro for their first competitive fixture of 2017 at Freiburg. © gettyimages / Johannes Simon

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Match Stats

  • Freiburg have not lost in four games and spent the winter break in the top half of the table.
  • Bayern have gone on to become champions on 18 of those 21 previous occasions they have claimed the Herbstmeisterschaft.
  • With Uli Hoeneß as club president, FC Bayern have not lost any of their last 54 Bundesliga games (W48 D6), and they have won all six competitive matches since his re-election on 25 November 2016.
  • The Reds have won their last 26 league games against promoted sides. They last dropped points against league newcomers in 2010, losing 2-0 to 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
  • The Black Forest outfit already have as many wins (seven) after 16 games as they did in the whole of 2014/15 when they were relegated.
  • Florian Niederlechner has four goals in his last five games. He scored twice in a Bundesliga game for the first time on MD16 at Ingolstadt.

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The Venue - Schwarzwald-Stadion

© gettyimages

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