VfL Wolfsburg will play host to reigning champions Bayern Munich this Saturday (kick-off 15:30CET), a tough task for VfL coach Bruno Labbadia’s charges, whose opponents have won each of their last four competitive visits to the Volkswagen Arena (three in the Bundesliga, one in the DFB Cup).
Bayern have stuttered of late, going down 2-0 at Hertha Berlin before losing 3-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach in front of their own fans, but Labbadia has warned his charges against getting carried away: “When you watch the matches, you realise that some unusual things happened. We can’t afford to get ahead of ourselves. Bayern are too good for that, even if we’ve seen that they’re beatable.”
Labbadia’s FCB counterpart Niko Kovac has meanwhile openly admitted he is expecting a tough test at the weekend: “It’ll be a very interesting and intense match. The last four games obviously haven’t gone as we’d have hoped”.
Business as usual?
Bayern showed last term that an early-season slump will do little to dent their title tilt. The men from Munich are currently four points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund – one point fewer than the gap between the two sides at the same stage last season. Ultimately the Bavarians finished the campaign 29 points ahead of the Black & Yellows and were crowned German champions for the sixth successive season.
Goretzka and Boateng back in training
There was good news on the injury front for Kovac during the week with Jerome Boateng and Leon Goretzka each returning to full training. Boateng cut short his international duty with Germany to return to Munich owing to muscular problems, while Goretzka missed both Nations League fixtures (3-0 and 2-1 defeats to the Netherlands and France respectively) with muscle stiffness. Both will be back at Bayern’s disposal for the trip to Wolfsburg.