Freiburg midfielder Karim Guede has called on his side to make a positive start against a downcast Bayern Munich in a crucial match for the Bundesliga strugglers on Saturday.
While Bayern wrapped up the title last month, the fight for survival is intriguing with just four points separating 13th-placed Hertha Berlin and rock-bottom Stuttgart.
With two matches remaining, Freiburg – who are outside the relegation zone in 15th but only on goal difference – can ill-afford a slip-up against Pep Guardiola’s men.
And they will hope to have caught Bayern at the right time after the champions were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League at the semi-final stage on Tuesday.
The Bavarian giants, who have lost their last two Bundesliga fixtures with attention focused on their two-legged tie with Barcelona, defeated the Spanish outfit 3-2 in the second leg but were beaten 5-3 on aggregate.
That loss, coupled with Bayern’s semi-final exit in the DFB-Pokal to Borussia Dortmund, means their quest to win more trophies this season is over.
The absence of wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery has been sorely felt in recent weeks and they may struggle to get up for a match against a Freiburg side fighting for their lives.
Freiburg have not won in six, but drew 1-1 at relegation rivals Hamburg last time out and Guede knows they must rise to the occasion.
“We have to focus, score goals and defend together,” Guede told Freiburg’s official website.
“This is now like two finals that lie ahead. We need the best possible number of points.
“We have had positive experiences at home against Bayern Munich. That has shown us that it is not impossible to score against them. We need to begin with a positive feeling against them.”
Guede does not believe his side will benefit from Bayern’s successive Bundesliga defeats or their elimination from Europe’s premier club competition.
“I think that does not mean anything,” he added.
“Bayern is still Bayern. I do not need to talk separately about their individual qualities. We must defend, as a team, really well. That is a prerequisite if you play against Bayern Munich.”
Freiburg, a fixture in the top flight since 2009, finish the season with a clash at Hannover – who they are one place ahead of in the table.
They will be wary of a scorned Bayern, who were far more impressive in the second leg against Barcelona despite their eventual elimination.
Freiburg have drawn two of their last three home clashes against Bayern, including a 1-1 draw last season in which Nicolas Hofler’s late effort won them a point. But Bayern have won their last 12 home matches against Freiburg, who have not beaten them since March 1996.