Bayern travels to Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich’s last trip to Wolfsburg ended in its worst defeat in
years and paved the way for Wolfsburg’s unexpected run to the
Bundesliga title last season.
Wolfsburg’s 5-1 victory behind a pair of goals from Edin
Dzeko and Grafite was Bayern’s worst domestic humiliation in seven
Wolfsburg has been unable to repeat the championship season,
however, and hasn’t won in its last eight games, dropping to 11th.
New coach Lorenz-Guenther Koestner will be looking for his first
Bayern hasn’t won in Wolfsburg in its last four trips there,
but is riding a seven-game winning streak in the league and is
second in the standings, two points behind Bayer Leverkusen (44).
Leverkusen is still undefeated after 20 games. The last time
a Bundesliga club had such a run was 21 years ago and it was Bayern
Munich, which won the title under Jupp Heynckes – now Leverkusen’s
Both Bayern and Leverkusen have won all three games since the
season resumed in January. Their closest challenger, Schalke, has
41 points, five more than Borussia Dortmund. The champion is likely
to come from the leading trio.
Leverkusen has a history of fading in the second half of the
season and has never won the title, with four second-place
“The times could become harder,” said Leverkusen’s midfielder
Toni Kroos, who has been voted player of the month twice in a row
by Kicker magazine. “I could also fall into a slump.”
Defender Sami Hyypia warned his teammates not to let their
“We can’t allow the opponent so many chances as we did Sunday
against Freiburg,” the Finnish veteran said.
Freiburg had several chances before Leverkusen scored three
goals inside four minutes for a 3-1 win.
“We have to be aggressive again, otherwise things could go
wrong for us in Bochum,” Hyypia said of the upcoming game Saturday.
Bochum is 14th and a win Saturday would lift the team further
away from the relegation zone.
Bayern announced Thursday that it had extended the contracts
of midfielder Thomas Mueller and defender Holger Badstuber, two
20-year-old players who came through its youth program and have
become regulars under coach Louis van Gaal. Both received new
contracts until 2014.
Bayern’s management still hopes to extend the contract of
French star winger Franck Ribery, who becomes a free agent after
the next season.
Ribery has said he could stay in Bayern and club chairman
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes the club’s top player will choose to
“I am optimistic, we are not without chances with Ribery,”
The 21st round kicks off Friday with Werder Bremen hosting
bottom-place Hertha Berlin. Bremen, which went undefeated in 23
games in all competitions earlier in the season, has lost its last
five to fall to sixth.
On Saturday, it’s Cologne vs. Hamburger SV; Freiburg vs.
Schalke; Hoffenheim vs. Hannover; and Nuremberg vs. Stuttgart.
On Sunday, Borussia Moenchengladbach visits Mainz and
Borussia Dortmund hosts Eintracht Frankfurt.