Memories aplenty as Bayern visit in-form Wolfsburg

VfL Wolfsburg are next in line to try to halt FC Bayern München’s march towards a fourth straight Bundesliga title when the two sides meet at the Volkswagen Arena this Saturday (kick-off 15:30CET/14:30GMT).

Despite tired legs after their UEFA Champions League win over KAA Gent last Wednesday, Wolfsburg managed to hold third-placed Hertha BSC to a draw last time out. The Wolves have looked miserly at the back since replacing Diego Benaglio with Koen Casteels[1] in goal, though they will have their work cut out against a Bayern side who are 28 points better off at the top of the table[2].

Pep Guardiola’s side have four days between their own Champions League clash – against Italian giants Juventus FC – and the meeting with Dieter Hecking’s side, and they could rotate their side. Defenders Holger Badstuber[3], Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez remain sidelined, though Frank Ribery – having come off the bench in last Saturday’s 3-1 win over SV Darmstadt 98 – could start a Bundesliga game for the first time in a year.

History

Goals: 0-1 Caligiuri[4] (27′), 1-1 Lewandowski (51′), 2-1 Lewandowski (52′), 3-1 Lewandowski (55′), 4-1 Lewandowski (57′), 5-1 Lewandowski (60′)

Robert Lewandowski[5] rewrote Bundesliga history on an unforgettable night at the Allianz Arena scoring an incredible five goals in nine minutes. The Polish striker only came on as a substitute at half-time with FC Bayern München trailing 1-0 to VfL Wolfsburg but broke a whole of host of records as the champions romped to a 5-1 victory.

Matchday 22 – match stats

  • Bayern have an eight-point cushion on second-placed Borussia Dortmund. No leader has ever squandered such a lead at this stage of a Bundesliga season.
  • Wolfsburg actually won more national titles (DFB Cup and DFB Supercup) in 2015 than Bayern did (Bundesliga).
  • Lewandowski, scorer of an historic five goals against the Wolves in the reverse fixture, and Thomas Müller[6] have scored a combined 39 Bundesliga goals – that’s a Bundesliga record for a duo after 22 matchdays.
  • Bayern have won the last 50 Bundesliga games in which Thomas Müller has scored, which is an ongoing Bundesliga record.
  • Wolfsburg have not lost a competitive game in which Koen Casteels has scored (W5, D3).
  • Seven players across these two teams were part of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad. Bayern provided Manuel Neuer[7], Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm, Mario Götze and Thomas Müller, whilst Julian Draxler[8] and André Schürrle went on to play for Wolfsburg.

Possible line-ups

Wolfsburg: Casteels – Vieirinha, Naldo, Dante, Rodriguez – Träsch, Luiz Gustavo – Draxler, Arnold, Schürrle – Kruse

Absentees: Dost (foot), Ascues (knee), Jung (knee)

Bayern: Neuer – Kimmich, Tasci, Alaba, Bernat – Vidal, Thiago – Robben, Müller, Costa – Lewandowski

Absentees: Boateng (groin), Martinez (knee), Badstuber (ankle), Rafinha (suspended)

References

  1. ^ Koen Casteels (www.bundesliga.com)
  2. ^ table (www.bundesliga.com)
  3. ^ Holger Badstuber (www.bundesliga.com)
  4. ^ Caligiuri (www.bundesliga.com)
  5. ^ Robert Lewandowski (www.bundesliga.com)
  6. ^ Thomas Müller (www.bundesliga.com)
  7. ^ Manuel Neuer (www.bundesliga.com)
  8. ^ Julian Draxler (www.bundesliga.com)

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