Wolfsburg clash: seven pre-match facts
We're off again! FC Bayern open the second half of the Bundesliga campaign at Wolfsburg on Friday evening, and the top-of-the-table clash is a mouth-watering prospect! fcbayern.de has identified seven fascinating facts in the build-up to the meeting between the league's top two:
1) Will FC Bayern continue a remarkable run and beat the Wolves 2-0? FCB have kicked off the second half of the season with 2-0 victories in both the last two years -- and as we all know, all good things come in threes...
2) It is the third time FC Bayern will face VfL Wolfsburg in the first competitive match after a winter break. The match-up was the official restart fixture in the Bundesliga in the 2010/11 season on 15 January 2011, the game ending 1-1 with Thomas Müller and Sascha Riether scoring the goals in Wolfsburg. And back on 21 January 2002 the sides met in a DFB Cup Round of 16 duel, with FCB winning 2-1 at Munich Olympic stadium, Michael Tarnat and Giovane Elber on target for the home team and Robson Ponte replying for the Wolves.
3) A clash between the sides in first and second has only been the Bundesliga restart fixture twice before -- and it involved FC Bayern on both occasions. In 1997/98 Germany's most successful club lost 2-0 to Kaiserslautern, and in 1965/66 the Reds celebrated a 3-0 victory over local rivals 1860 Munich.
4) The game is a true high-calibre encounter as it features not only the two best teams in the current Bundesliga season (FCB are on 45 points and VfL on 34), but also the best teams of the previous calendar year. In 2014 Wolfsburg amassed 64 points, second only to FC Bayern on 91.
5) FC Bayern posted a superb first half of the league season with the biggest-ever lead at the halfway mark (11 points), the fewest-ever goals conceded in the first half of a campaign (4), and the second-highest points total at the same stage (45). However, the Wolves' 34 points is also their best-ever total at Christmas and they lie second at the midpoint for the first time in their history. Wolfsburg are also the only team apart from Bayern and Leverkusen to remain undefeated at home so far. Dieter Hecking's men last lost at home in March last year... in a 6-1 defeat to Bayern!
6) 30 from 39! FCB have won a remarkable 77 percent of their competitive meetings with VfL, with six draws and only three defeats. The last eight games have ended in Bayern wins. In fact, the men from Munich only boast a longer consecutive winning streak against three other teams: TSV 1860: 9 games, Werder Bremen: 9, VfB Stuttgart: 12.
7) FC Bayern are undefeated in their last 21 league fixtures (18 wins, 3 draws). Munich have scored 53 goals in that time and conceded only seven. However, the Wolves are confident too: Hecking's men have lost only one of their last 12 league games, and have scored at least once in 22 straight home fixtures.