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Champions vow to pull clear at the top

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Champions vow to pull clear at the top

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:45 pm

29.09.2006

Autumn 2006 is proving a case of déjà-vu at Bayern: in an eerie repeat of the fixture sequence back in March this year, Germany's most successful club travel to face VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday (<b>Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio</b>) three days after a Champions League trip to Milan.

But any similarities end there. In the spring, the Reds met the Wolves on the back of a humbling 4-1 reverse against AC Milan, but at the present time, the champions' spirits are soaring following the thoroughly convincing 2-0 triumph against Internazionale.

"We're in better shape than we were back then," coach Felix Magath observed, promising better fare than the turgid goalless draw six months ago. "I'm certain we'll see goals in Wolfsburg this time," the 53-year-old opined, trusting his side would pick up where they left off in northern Italy. "A win like the one in midweek is worth far more than three points, it's psychologically important too. I hope our success boosts our belief. Our aim is all three points in Wolfsburg."

<b>Narrow victory would suffice</b>

The top-versus-bottom clash looks an open and shut case on paper. "We want to hold onto top spot, and extend our lead as fast as possible," Bastian Schweinsteiger commented. "Winning away against a big-name club last Wednesday was definitely a morale-booster."

However, both Magath and Schweinsteiger reckoned Saturday's trip to the VW Arena would require a healthy dose of patience against the side coached by Bayern legend Klaus Augenthaler. "They won't come at us, they'll set out their stall defensively," Magath feared, predicting a "very different match" compared to the Milan fixture. "That's why I'd be perfectly happy with a narrow victory," the coach acknowledged.

<b>Lucio and Schweini doubtful</b>

Despite the midweek heroics, Schweinsteiger reckoned the current Bayern line-up has the potential to improve. "I hope it keeps getting better. It still wasn't the most entertaining game ever, even though we were in control both physically and tactically," the Germany man mused. "We're all fired up to win in Wolfsburg. We won't be satisfied with a draw."

The midfielder is rated doubtful for the visit to the Lower Saxony strugglers, it emerged ahead of final training on Friday. Both the 22-year-old and centre-half Lucio are struggling to shake off muscle strains, "so there's a small question-mark over both of them," Magath reported. The coach had nothing to reveal regarding his probable line-up. "I'm still undecided. I'll have to wait and see what happens in training."

<b>Record in Reds' favour</b>

Punters who believe in following a fixture's track record will have no hesitation in backing the double winners on Saturday. In nine Bundesliga visits to Wolfsburg so far, the men from Munich have won six and lost just one, with the Wolves failing to score in their last four home meetings with the Reds. Bayern will be hoping that miserable series continues through to a quarter past five on Saturday.

<b>Probable line-ups:</b>

<b>VfL Wolfburg:</b> Jentzsch - Möhrle, Madlung, Hofland, Stegmayer - Lamprecht, Santana, Van der Leegte, Krzynowek - Makiadi, Hanke

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Kahn - Sagnol, Van Buyten, Lucio, Lahm - Salihamidzic, Ottl, Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger - Makaay, Pizarro
<b>Also in matchday squad:</b> Rensing, Demichelis, Scholl, Karimi, Podolski, Santa Cruz, Dos Santos

<b>Referee:</b> Dr. Markus Merk

<b>Bayern's record in the fixture:</b> P9 W6 D2 L1 F16 A7
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