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Bundesliga

  • February 15, 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • VOLKSWAGEN ARENA, Wolfsburg
  • Referee: F. Zwayer
  • • Attendance: 30000
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Wolfsburg-Bayern Munich Preview: Red-hot Bavarians can extend their Bundesliga lead

Wolfsburg-Bayern Munich Preview: Red-hot Bavarians can extend their Bundesliga lead

Bongarts

Jupp Henyckes' side can go 18 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund with a win over a side against whom they have not dropped points against since 2011

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

WOLFSBURG

Benaglio
Fagner, Naldo, Madlung, Schafer
Trasch, Polak
Vieirinha, Diego, Perisic
Dost
BAYERN

Neuer
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger

Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Mandzukic

Jupp Heynckes will bring Daniel Van Buyten back into the heart of defence at the expense of Jerome Boateng after he was rested last week. Javi Martinez has a minor toe injury, allowing Luiz Gustavo to slot back into midfield.

Further forward, Thomas Muller should replace Arjen Robben on the right, and Mario Mandzukic is likely to face his old club ahead of Mario Gomez. Holder Badstuber is out for the rest of the season with a anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Dieter Hecking, meanwhile, is still without midfielder Vaclav Pilar, who was injured while on duty with the Czech Republic in August and whose knee surgery ruled him out for the rest of the campaign. Striker Patrick Helmes is also still missing after his knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Manchester City and is not expected back until next month at the earliest.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Bayern have won their last four matches against Wolfsburg by a combined score of 8-1.
  • Wolfsburg last picked up a point against Bayern more than two years ago, when they played the Bavarian giants to a 1-1 draw at home on January 15, 2011.
  • Bayern have kept four successive clean sheets heading into Friday’s match, and during that stretch have outscored their opponents 11-0.
  • Ivica Olic has scored only two Bundesliga goals for Wolfsburg since moving from Bayern in the summer. Bas Dost leads the side with eight.
  • Mario Mandzukic (pictured, right) played two seasons at Wolfsburg before moving to Bayern last summer. He is now the leading goals-scorer at his new club with 14 Bundesliga goals - two more than he scored all of last season for Wolfsburg.
  • Since winning the Bundesliga title in 2009, Wolfsburg have finished no higher than eighth in the table and came close to being relegated in 2011.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Diego BenaglioGoalkeeper
4Marcel SchäferDefender
17Alexander MadlungDefender
25NaldoDefender
8VieirinhaStriker
22Diego RibasMidfielder
17Makoto HasebeMidfielder
15Christian TräschMidfielder
8Jan PolakMidfielder
11Ivica OlicStriker
12Bas DostStriker
35Marwin HitzGoalkeeper
23FagnerDefender
34Ricardo RodriguezDefender
14Simon KjaerDefender
7JosuéMidfielder
9Ivan PerisicMidfielder
17Patrick HelmesStriker
1Manuel NeuerGoalkeeper
4DanteDefender
-Daniel Van BuytenDefender
21Philipp LahmDefender
27David AlabaMidfielder
7Franck RibéryMidfielder
22Luiz GustavoMidfielder
31Bastian SchweinsteigerMidfielder
8Toni KroosMidfielder
9Mario MandzukicStriker
25Thomas MüllerStriker
22Tom StarkeGoalkeeper
13RafinhaMidfielder
17Jerome BoatengDefender
10Arjen RobbenMidfielder
11Xherdan ShaqiriMidfielder
44Anatoliy TymoshchukMidfielder
33Mario GomezStriker
Players to Watch
Diego Ribas
Diego Ribas
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 22
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The Brazilian playmaker never wanted to return to Wolfsburg after helping Atletico Madrid win the Europa League last spring, but he has been in exceptional form this season and is likely to be rewarded with a new contract as a result. His five Bundesliga goals are second to Bas Dost and he leads the side with five assists.

Mario Gomez
Mario Gomez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 33
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

A pre-season ankle injury allowed Mario Mandzukic to take his place at the fulcrum of the attack, and once the Croatian began to thrive in the role Gomez was relegated to the outskirts of the squad. Nevertheless he has vowed to fight for his place at Bayern and will likely get a rare start against Wolfsburg on Saturday. He has only three Bundesliga goals so far this season.

Prediction

Wolfsburg have managed only a single goal in each of their last three matches—not the sort of offensive form you want to bring into a match against free-scoring Bayern Munich. Heynckes will deploy a weakened squad on Friday, but it should still be enough to earn the three points with relative comfort.

Editor's Prediction
Bayern 3

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