Bundesliga is back: Bayern battle closest challengers Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich, odds-on 1/2 favourites with Coral, will continue their defence of the Bundesliga title against closest challengers Wolfsburg, after a four-week winter break from competitive action.
Pep Guardiola’s German giants are again dominating the country’s top-flight, and are on course for a third consecutive league triumph, as they enjoy an-11 point gap over Wolfsburg in second, during the mid-season break.
The brilliant Bavarians ended last year in fantastic form, comfortably easing to eight victories on the bounce, and are incredibly unbeaten in the Bundesliga so far this season.
However, Munich’s nearest domestic rivals Wolfsburg had a great end to 2014 as well, losing just once in their last 12 Bundesliga outings and climbing six points above third place Bayer Leverkuson.
Dieter Hecking’s side, 5/1 outsiders to win, will be hoping to put up more of a fight against Bayern this time out, having stumbled to a heavy 6-1 defeat in March last year, before narrowly losing 2-1 in August.
Prolific poacher Thomas Muller netted in both his side’s most recent triumphs over their domestic challengers and is 13/10 to strike again anytime at the Volkswagen Arena.
Die Wolfe, who finished fifth last season, were also thrashed 6-1 by magnificent Munich in a German Cup tie during the 2012/13 campaign, and are 100/1 to be inflicted with the same embarrassing scoreline for a third time in less than two years.
Guardiola’s men are set to be boosted in their search for a 25th German league title by the return of key stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze and Mehdi Benatia, with the terrific trio battling back from troublesome injuries.
Attacking midfielder Gotze, who grabbed Germany’s World Cup winning goal last summer, is 9/2 to net the opener on his return to competitive action.
Skipper Philipp Lahm is less likely to recover from a serious knock picked up last year, but has reportedly showed positive signs at his side’s training camp in Doha.
Wolfsburg boss Hecking may be able to once again call upon potent pair Ivan Perisic and Naldo, after they returned to training following respective groin and knee injuries.
Dominant defender Naldo has been a key aspect of Wolfsburg’s superb season, having started every single Bundesliga game and firing in five goals from centre back. The brilliant Brazilian is 7/2 to bag a sixth league goal anytime on his return.
Hosts Wolfsburg will have another goalscoring threat in their defensive ranks, with wing back Ricardo Rodriguez having struck six times in all competitions this term. The left-footed Switzerland international is 11/2 to net anytime, after bagging a Europa League brace before the Winter break.
Bayern will be confident of extending their lead at the top of the table, having not been beaten by their latest opponents since April 2009. Guardiola’s side are 19/10 to win to nil.