Bayern hopes for eighth straight win against Wolfsburg
AFP · 5 Feb 2010, 10:31
Published: 05 Feb 2010 10:31 GMT+01:00
Bayern's winning run has bolted them up to second in the table, just two points behind league leaders Leverkusen, and an eighth win at Wolfsburg would keep the pressure on with the leaders at strugglers Bochum on Saturday.
With Munich's Dutch play-maker Arjen Robben chasing his third consecutive league goal after curling in free-kicks against both Werder Bremen and Mainz in recent weeks, Ribery should be on the bench.
With his contract set to expire in June 2011, Ribery is expected to announce whether he will stay at Bayern in the next few weeks, but coach Louis van Gaal is trying to return him to the side after recovering from a knee injury.
"Ribery is getting ever more fitter, you can see it in training," said van Gaal. "I must integrate him back into the team, but that is difficult, because I must do that in a league game."
Ribery's agent has said his client is being chased by European giants Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
"He would love to play alongside (Barcelona star Lionel) Messi, that would be phenomenal," Ribery's agent Alain Migliaccio told Spanish radio. "There is no door closed, neither to Real Madrid nor to Barca or to Manchester. With Bayern we will see how things go up to the beginning of March."
Van Gaal insists his side have put last season's 5-1 hammering at home to Wolfsburg out of their heads and the Wolves, who sacked coach Armin Veh nearly a fortnight ago, are chasing their first win for 10 games.
Germany striker Mario Gomez has scored six goals in his last eight league games and is relishing facing Wolfsburg.
"For me personally, this is the best it's ever been in my career," the 24-year-old said after scoring in last Saturday's 3-0 victory over Mainz.
Meanwhile Wolfsburg are desperately trying to keep hold of their striker Edin Dzeko with their hot-shot striker being chased by a number of top European clubs, including Manchester United.
Wolfsburg's caretaker coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner is undefeated after his side drew 1-1 at Hamburg, but morale is rock bottom at the defending champions.
Leverkusen, the only unbeaten team in the Bundesliga, are at Bochum with the league's top-scorer Steffan Kiessling back to scoring ways having netted in last weekend's 3-1 win at Freiburg.
Schalke are at Freiburg and are defending a six-game unbeaten record which has put them amidst the title contenders and just three points off Leverkusen.