Freiburg's Korean Jeong relishing return to Bayern Munich

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The Bundesliga's best defence takes on the club which has scored the most goals this season on Saturday when unbeaten Freiburg visit league leaders Bayern Munich and South Korea forward Jeong Woo-yeong faces his former club.

Jeong, 22, joined the Bayern Munich academy as a teenager in 2018, but a year later he signed for Freiburg, where he has started nine of their ten league games this season.

"Everyone looks forward to playing against Bayern. Those are always difficult games, of course, but we're in good shape and will try to win," the Korean winger told FCBayern.de.

Third-placed Freiburg have conceded just seven league goals all season and are the only club still unbeaten in Germany's top flight.

At Munich's Allianz Arena, they face a Bayern side which has scored a record 38 goals in their opening ten Bundesliga games to sit top of the table.

Freiburg have never beaten Bayern in Munich, but Jeong, who made his international debut for South Korea earlier this year, is relishing the chance to face the six-time European champions.

After arriving in Bavaria from Korea, he played just a total of 13 minutes for Bayern's first team, making brief cameo appearances off the bench in the Champions League and Bundesliga. The lion's share of his action was for the reserves or under-19 side.

"It was very difficult for me to adjust in the beginning. The training and the food, for example, are completely different here (in Germany)," he said.

"The cultures are also very different. For example, when teammates wanted to have a bit of a laugh with me, I didn't understand at first. But now I understand everything," he said.

After struggling for game-time following his transfer to Freiburg in 2019, Jeong was loaned back to Bayern in 2020 and won the third division title with the Bavarian giants' reserve team.

"I hadn't played that much at Freiburg in the beginning, I wanted to gain more playing experience on loan, but I knew it wouldn't be easy, because of all the young talent in Bayern's reserves," he explained.

"I gained a lot of confidence and I'm proud that I was able to contribute to winning the third division title -- that was the highlight of my time at Bayern."

This season, the right winger has matured into a regular starter at Freiburg.

His three league goals, consisting of a double last August to seal a 3-2 win at Stuttgart and the equaliser in last month's 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig, makes him the club's joint top scorer.

He is flourishing under Christian Streich, Freiburg's down-to-earth head coach.

"He talks to me a lot, which gives me confidence, even if I make a mistake," said Jeong.

"Christian Streich has a terrific mix. Sometimes he's strict, sometimes he's like a father figure.

"He demanded that my tackling improve, where as at Bayern, it was less about issues like winning the ball and more about attacking play and footballing solutions.

"In the past, I had a harder time with defensive challenges and transitioning after losing the ball. I want to continue working on that."

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