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Bundesliga Wolfsburg clash vital for Bayern: Lahm

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 29 Aug 2009

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Struggling Bayern Munich know only a decent performance against defending champions VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday will ease their mounting woes, admits captain Philipp Lahm.

Having drawn their first two league games, Bayern were humiliated last weekend when promoted minnows Mainz stunned them with a 2-1 defeat which left Germany striker Mario Gomez admitting they were “taught a lesson”.

Wolfsburg also suffered their first league defeat last Sunday when they were beaten at home by Hamburg and they will be hoping to repeat April’s 5-1 win over Munich at the Volkswagen Arena which led to the sacking of Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

The defending champions are fourth in the German league, while Bayern are down to 14th after their slump and badly need some points.

Against Mainz last Saturday, substitutes Ivica Olic and Thomas Mueller were two of the Bayern players to impress and stand-in captain Philipp Lahm says the whole team must improve.

“We knew it could be a bumpy start to the season – and it has been,” said Germany defender Philipp Lahm, who is standing in for the injured Mark van Bommel.

“Over the next few weeks, everyone will see us playing a lot better again.”

And Bayern fans need to see some evidence of that while French midfielder Franck Ribery and World Cup winner Luca Toni both trained hard this week.

Ribery is expected to get some game time against Wolfsburg who have no injury worries and strikers Edin Dzeko and Grafite will be looking to terrorise Bayern’s defence as they did last time.

Dutch forward Arjen Robbens could even feature in the game if Bayern complete his signing from Spanish giants Real Madrid on Friday as expected.

Leaders Bayer Leverkusen will be looking for another three points against Bochum having hammered Freiburg 5-0 last weekend after Swiss internationals Tranquillo Barnetta and Erin Derdiyok both scored two goals.

After their 4-2 win over defending champions Wolfsburg last Sunday, Hamburg host Cologne on Sunday with Germany striker Lukas Podolski looking to get the guests’ first win of the season.

Third-placed Schalke, who revealed they are 136.6 million euros in debt on Thursday, take on Freiburg at Gelsenkirchen’s Veltins Arena on Saturday with the guests licking their wounds from their hammering by Leverkusen.

Saturday

VfB Stuttgart v Nuremberg

Schalke 04 v Freiburg

Bayer Leverkusen v VfL Bochum

Hanover 96 v Hoffenheim

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich v VfL Wolfsburg

Sunday

Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen

Hamburg v Cologne

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