BERLIN, Germany, Jan 19 – Temperatures are forecast to plummet, but Carlo Ancelotti wants his Bayern Munich to turn up the heat at icy Freiburg on Friday when the Bundesliga resumes after the winter break.
Temperatures are set to dip as low as minus nine degrees Celsius (15.8 Fahrenheit) for kick-off at Freiburg’s Schwarzwald Stadium when the German league resumes after the four-week break.
Bayern lost on their last appearance at Freiburg, who stunned the visitors’ then-coach Pep Guardiola with a 2-1 win in May 2015 and Ancelotti wants no repeat.
Back then, Bayern had already won the league and Freiburg were fighting to avoid the relegation which eventually saw them spend last season in the second division.
Fast forward 20 months and Bayern arrive in south-west Germany three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
They are chasing a fifth straight league title to extend their record dominance of Germany’s top flight.
Ancelotti is in no mood to let low temperatures be a factor.
“It will be cold – for us, but also for Freiburg. There is no advantage for either team,” said the Italian.
“It will be a difficult game with a high intensity.
“Freiburg are a good team, but I am happy with how we have trained in the break, we’re in a good physical and mental state.
“We’ve worked hard to be ready, I have a good feeling for tomorrow.”
It has been 30 days since Bayern’s last league game — an emphatic 3-0 home win over second-placed RB Leipzig when all the goals came in a dazzling first-half display.
Ancelotti wants another dominant performance, even without injured stars midfielder Thiago Alcantara (thigh) and defender Jerome Boateng (shoulder).
“It’s important that we want to build on that game. We played very well against Leipzig and we want to play just as well on Friday,” added Ancelotti.
But eighth-placed Freiburg, back in the Bundesliga after winning last season’s second division title, have won five of their seven homes games so far this term.
Their coach Christian Streich, who masterminded Freiburg’s shock win nearly two years ago, is plotting another surprise.
“If Bayern play a perfect game, you have to assume that we will lose,” said Streich, “but it does not have to be perfect,” he said.
The 51-year-old will be without defender Caglar Soyuncu, who has a groin strain, but the mood is confident in the Freiburg camp.
“If we have an outstanding day, then it won’t be child’s play even for Bayern to win at our place,” goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow defiantly told Germam daily Bild.
“On an extraordinary day, there is something there for us.”
Bayern have only ever lost four of their 32 Bundesliga matches against Freiburg.
Neverthless, Freiburg’s ex-Bayern striker Nils Petersen, who spent the 2011-12 season in Munich, is hoping for another shock against his former club.
“Bayern are a force, but we are having a very strong season so far,” said Petersen, 28, who scored the winning goal in 2015 a minute from time.
“Our style demands a lot of effort, Bayern have to adjust to that, and we’re playing at home, so we’ll get everything out of the game.”