BERLIN - Bayern Munich top striker Mario Gomez should have recovered from a muscle injury by Saturday when the league leaders host Freiburg, the start of a string of games that will shape their season, but Dutchman Arjen Robben is still doubtful.
Gomez, who has already struck four times in the league, will give Bayern a big lift but winger Robben looks unlikely to have overcome his groin injury in time for their defence of the top spot against offensive Freiburg.
"The break [because of international matches] did Robben a lot of good. But whether that is enough for him to play on Saturday still remains to be seen," said Bayern Sports Director Christian Nerlinger. Robben only resumed training a few days ago.
The Bavarians could do with their speedy winger at this stage of the season with tough Champions League group matches ahead of them against Villarreal and Manchester City in September.
They also face Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen in successive league games this month.
"We have a block of games in front of us which will challenge us but could also see us lay the foundations for a successful season," Nerlinger said.
Their start to the season, despite an opening defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach, has seen them go top of the Bundesliga with a three match-winning streak without conceding a goal and scoring nine.
They have also kept a clean sheet in their two Champions League qualifiers against FC Zurich.
"These are the weeks for which we love playing football," said captain Philipp Lahm. "We are on a good run but we have not yet reached the point where we want to be."
Freiburg will not be looking to build "park the bus" against Bayern. In three of five games in all competitions coach Marcus Sorg has boldly fielded more than one striker.
"We need to maintain the courage we have shown against them in previous games," said Freiburg forward Stefan Reisinger.
"Maybe that way we will have a chance instead of waiting to see what they will do and wait for a quick break."
Second-placed Schalke 04, also on nine points from four games, travel to VfL Wolfsburg to meet former coach Felix Magath, whose 2009 champions languish in 15th place with just three points.
Champions Borussia Dortmund, on seven points, will seek to make up form some lost ground with a win against Hertha Berlin while Werder Bremen, third on goal difference, host bottom-placed Hamburg SV in the 95th league edition of the northern derby.comments