Bayern hopes for eighth straight win against Wolfsburg

Bayern Munich are expected to be without French midfielder Franck Ribery when they hunt their eighth straight Bundesliga win against defending champions Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Bayern hopes for eighth straight win against Wolfsburg
Photo: DPA

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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 

If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann.