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Bayern vow 'right reaction' against Wolves

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Bayern vow 'right reaction' against Wolves

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:40 pm

Bayern slipped up in the Bundesliga restart fixture, returning home from Gladbach last weekend empty-handed. But all that is in the past, as FCB take on Wolfsburg this Saturday (Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio), determined to make amends for last Friday's slip-up. Victory over the Wolves at the Allianz Arena would all but guarantee Munich remaining top of the table.

"The team has to show the right reaction straight away," urged chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Boss Jupp Heynckes delivered a similarly charged statement: "I've told my team in no uncertain terms that I expect a very different approach, not just on Saturday, but right through to the end of the season."

Vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger acknowledged that Bayern have now been "put on the spot. I hope we can set off on a run similar to the series at the start of the season." The 27-year-old and his team-mates lost the opening match of the season 1-0 to Gladbach, but then kept eight straight clean sheets in the Bundesliga, and remained undefeated in their next 13 competitive matches. "We're wide awake now," said Schweinsteiger, "I'm very confident."

That confidence is partly based on the return of Franck Ribéry from suspension. The France star, behind only striker Mario Gomez as Bayern's second-highest scorer in the league on eight goals, will resume duty on the left flank against Wolfsburg. "In my opinion, he's one of the five best players in the world," Schweinsteiger stated. Coach Heynckes agrees with that point of view: "When Franck's in the team, our quality goes up another notch. We have more firepower in attack."

Magath's respect for Ribéry

Wolfsburg supremo Felix Magath, who guided Bayern to back-to-back doubles in 2005 and 2006, is another Ribery admirer. "I'd have liked his ban to continue for one more match," Magath quipped. The Frenchman's return means he is reunited with fellow winger Arjen Robben, and controlling the pair would be a problem for any team. Moreover, Wolfsburg are the third-worst defenders in the league with 34 goals against so far, and are the weakest side on their travels with just four points from nine away fixtures.

For all that, FCB are wary and respectful in the wake of the defeat to Gladbach. "We have to cut out the mistakes and concentrate harder against Wolfsburg," Heynckes ordered. Schweinsteiger called for much greater aggression: "We made life difficult for ourselves in Gladbach," said the midfield orchestrator, who should be fit to face the Wolves despite a minor but persistent inflammation of the knee.

Van Buyten and Contento sidelined

"The joint isn't moving as easily as I'd like, but I feel fit and I've trained well over the last few days," Schweinsteiger explained. The only confirmed absentees on Saturday are Daniel van Buyten (metatarsal fracture) and Diego Contento (broken toe). Jerome Boateng is poised to take over from Van Buyten at centre-half, with Rafinha starting at right-back. Breno will appear in a Heynckes squad for the first time.

Munich are impatiently waiting to get on with the first home match since Christmas. "Despite our defeat last week, I'm still of the opinion that we had an outstanding pre-season period and are in good shape," said Heynckes, although he issued a warning about Saturday's opponents after analysing Wolfsburg's 1-0 victory over Köln last week: "Their attitude was good and they ran very hard indeed."

The record books certainly favour anyone tempted to bet on FCB. The men from Lower Saxony, who brought in eight new faces in the winter transfer period, have generally struggled in Munich, as Bayern have won the corresponding fixture on their home turf on the last nine occasions.
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