BAYERN MUNICH .
Allianz Arena, Munich
Tuesday 22nd September, 2015, 11:30 IST
Matchday 6 of the Bundesliga sees defending league champions Bayern Munich and cup winners Wolfsburg meet at the Allianz Arena in what promises to be an exciting top of the table clash. Bayern, on fifteen points, sit in second place with Wolfsburg four points behind them on third.
Matches between the two have always been a spectacle with the last two ending in defeats for Bayern – a 4-1 loss in the league followed by a defeat on penalties in the German Supercup in August. Further, both sides will face each other in Round 2 of the DFB-Pokal and this match should serve as the perfect backdrop for the knockout fixture next month.
Bayern enter the fixture on the back of a 3-0 win away at newly promoted Darmstadt, a game that allowed Pep Guardiola some room for rotating his squad. Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman scored their first goals for Bayern, Joshua Kimmich and Sebastian Rode did brilliantly in midfield and Rafinha was a solid presence at the back. However, Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Thomas MA?ller and Robert Lewandowski all sat out the game on Saturday should reclaim their starting spots in the team.
Lewandowski has shaken off a minor injury problem and seems likely to start ahead of Mario G tze in a central attacking role. Douglas Costa, yet to put a foot wrong this season, will be Bayerna s explosive factor on the wings and top-scorer MA?ller will be back to terrorize defenders with his movement.
Thiagoa s creativity and passing in the final third will be much needed in breaking down a tight defence, as will Arturo Vidala s defensive contribution in dealing with counter attacks. Javi Martinez could make his much awaited return to the Allianz Arena off the bench after sustaining a knee injury earlier this year.
Arjen Robben, Frank Ribery, Mehdi Benatia, Holger Badstuber and Jan Kirchhoff are still nursing injuries and will play no part in Tuesdaya s game.
Possible starting XI (4-3-2-1): Neuer-Lahm-Rafinha-Boateng-Alaba-Vidal-Thiago-Rode-MA?ller-Costa-Lewandowski
In contrast to last year’s a all guns blazinga performances, Wolfsburg have been effective quietly so far this season with their only headline performance, a 3-0 win against Schalke. The 2-0 win against Hertha last week was a lucky but deserved win after substitute Bas Dost struck twice in the second half.
Ex-Bayern man Dante has been in fine form and is certain to start alongside Naldo and Ricardo Rodriguez in defence. However, an injury to Vieirinha will allow either Christian Tr sch or Sebastian Jung to start at right-back.
In midfield, Dieter Hecking has opted to field a single holding player in Luiz Gustavo (also ex-Bayern) this season, emphasizing a more attack minded approach. Julian Draxler has enjoyed a bright start in Wolfsburg colours and should partner Daniel Caligiuiri, Max Kruse and Andre SchA?rrle in a pacy and creative midfield that should cause Bayern a few problems. Kruse, usually a center-forward, has grown into a new deeper role allowing another out-and-out striker to play ahead of him.
Nicklas Bendtner and Bas Dost fight for the starting role as lone striker, but Hecking has expressed concerns over the Dutchmana s attitude in training and may exclude him from the squad altogether.
With no injured players in the squad and the option of bringing on talented players like Maximilian Arnold and Josuha Guilavogui, the game could be close one to call.
Possible starting XI (4-1-4-1): Benaglio-Tr sch-Naldo-Dante-Rodriguez-Gustavo-Draxler-Caligiuiri-Kruse-SchA?rrle-Bendtner
Blast from the past:
Back in 2008-09 when Bayern Munich werena t so invulnerable in the Bundesliga, Felix Magatha s entertaining Wolfsburg clinched their first ever League title in style. One of the major milestones in their march to the title was a 5-1 hammering of Bayern, capped off by a sensational solo goal by the Brazilian Grafite, the goal later dubbed the German a goal of the centurya . The game also featured brilliant individual performances from the Bosnian duo of Edin Dzeko and Zvejzdan Misimovic.
Player to watch:
After swapping Royal Blue for Green, the World Cup winner has performed well in his two starts for his new club. While he may not be as capable on the counter as his predecessor Kevin De Bruyne, his capability of putting in classy performances in big games makes him the biggest threat to Bayern.
Both teams are far from top form but remain in convincing shape, making this game tough to call. Wolfsburg are strong on the counter and may rely on the physical striker to trouble the home side, but considering Bayerna s squad depth and Guardiolaa s tactical brilliance, expect Bayern to see this one through.
Bayern Munich 1-0 VfL Wolfsburg