Wolfsburg hunt third-straight win over Bayern
21 September 2015, 21:41
Berlin - Wolfsburg face Bayern Munich on Tuesday hunting a third-straight victory over their Bavarian rivals in a key test of the hosts' aspirations of winning an unprecedented fourth German league title.
"I've always said that we can compete on a good day with Bayern, but that takes courage and determination," said Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking at Monday's press conference.
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"We need to focus on ourselves. Bayern usually have 70 percent of the ball at home, if we can get 40 or 45 percent, that'll be good, and we can keep them away from our goal."
Wolfsburg have won the last two meetings between the teams a 4-1 league trouncing of Bayern in January was followed by a penalty shoot-out victory in August as Wolves lifted the German Super Cup, also at home.
Bayern, who have never lost to Wolfsburg in Munich, are second, on goal-difference behind Borussia Dortmund in the table, with their visitors just behind in third.
Hecking admits he is no fan of Bayern's Allianz Arena "I prefer other stadiums" but offered a good reason why away teams are usually awarded few penalties at the home of the defending champions.
"That's down to the fact that Bayern normally gets in the opponents' penalty box at least 20 times, while the away team are usually only in their box once or twice," he added.
Hecking said he regretted his public criticism of Wolfsburg's Bas Dost, who he described as behaving like 'someone took his toys' after being substituted at half-time of their Champions League win over CSKA Moscow last Tuesday.
The Dutch striker bounced back from the harsh criticism after coming off the bench to seal a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
"I have been working openly with Bas Dost for two-and-a-half years, perhaps I shouldn't have make things public," admitted Hecking.
Dost is battling with ex-Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner for the striker berth.
Coach Pep Guardiola will welcome back Poland star Robert Lewandowski after the striker missed Saturday's 3-0 win at Darmstadt, having suffered a minor injury, and he trained on Sunday.
But Bayern were giving out mixed messages about the importance of the Wolfsburg clash as they also host Bundesliga leaders Dortmund in a fortnight.
"It's extremely important, but it's also nothing special," said Bayern's director of sport Matthias Sammer, while centre-back Jerome Boateng said the defending champions had given no thoughts to revenge.
Guardiola rested Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Mueller from the starting side in Darmstadt to keep plenty in reserve for Wolfsburg.
"We will decide the game," insisted Boateng.
"There were only a few times after the 4-1 win when they played better, but we always did," said Boateng.
Wolves' Brazil international Luiz Gustavo and Dante will be returning to the club where they won the 2013 treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.