Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich: Hosts hope to avoid embarrassment

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www.metro.co.uk

Wolfsburg will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last September when they welcome Bayern Munich to the Volkswagen Arena today.

Although Dieter Hecking’s side have an excellent home record, with wins or draws in 32 out of their past 33 home Bundesliga games, die Wölfe will be coming into this match having being hit by an injury and illness crisis that has ravaged the camp. For this game, it looks like Diego Benaglio, Sebastian Jung, Daniel Caligiuri, Joshua Guilavogui, Bas Dost, Bruno Henrique, Paul Seguin and Carlos Ascues will all be missing out, and André Schürrle is still in doubt. And to complicate things, although Wolfsburg did beat Bayern Munich 4-1 in this same fixture last season – becoming the first team to not just beat Pep Guardiola’s men but also score more than one against them – their past two meetings with die Roten have been matches to forget.

In the reverse match earlier this season, Wolfsburg were leading 1-0 at half-time. That is, until Guardiola introduced Robert Lewandowski off the bench, and nine minutes later, the Polish international had made history and had left Wolfsburg shell-shocked as they glanced up at the score-board. The records set that evening included the fastest ever hat-trick, fastest poker, and most goals scored by a sub, and the hosts will be keen on avoiding such humiliation again as they again take on their no. 1 enemy at home later today. Unfortunately, they were again defeated in the DFB Pokal, this time, by a score of 3-1, with Thomas Muller getting in on the action, which means that in just their past two matches, the hosts have conceded a whopping eight goals against the Bundesliga giants.

Having finished in second place last season, Wolfsburg are struggling to even break into the five, but a win today could move them much closer towards a European spot. However, to date, the team have scored a decent 32 goals, albeit, when one takes into consideration that Muller and Lewandowski alone have netted 39, coupled with their long absentee lists, it looks set to be a long afternoon for Hecking’s side. In addition, both these men have scored all ten of Bayern’s goals since the Bundesliga resumed action and both

Although Guardiola will still be missing key players like Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, and Holger Badstuber due to injury, as well as Rafinha who will sit out due to a ban, the Spanish tactician will be keen on rebounding after a frustrating draw in their Champions League mid-week tie. Die Roten were sitting on a comfortable 2-0 lead over Juventus for nearly an hour of the match and were looking quite good to have secured their spot in the quarter-finals until the Bianconeri managed an impressive fight-back to level the scores, which now leaves it as anyone’s match for the second leg contested in Munich next month.

Bayern, however, have a good historical record playing against Wolfsburg: with 11 wins out of their past 13 meetings across all competitions and have won 20 out of their 23 Bundesliga games this season. As such, this fact, plus Wolfsburg’s decimated personnel list, makes this game seem like it’s going to conclude in another three points for the visitors as they hope to maintain their eight-point gap over the chasing pack and take one step closer towards retaining their league crown.

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Michelle Bonsu

Freelance football journalist based in New York. Primarily support AC Milan as well as the Ghanaian and Italian NT’s, but you’ll find me watching the Bundesliga and Premier League as well–enjoy a good game, regardless of where it’s being played. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of my favourite players.