Both teams will be aiming to return to winning ways when Wolfsburg hosts Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
The Wolves winning streak came to an end when losing to Werder Bremen last weekend, while Bayern drew for a third consecutive match.
Having won six successive league games ahead of their trip to Bremen, Niko Kovac would have been supremely confident of extending that winning run given that their opponents had lost four matches in a row.
However, a brace from Germany’s break-out star at the recent World Cup in Qatar, Niclas Fullkrug, saw the Wolves’ teeth blunted despite Kevin Paredes setting up a grandstand finish by pulling one back in the last minute of normal time.
While Wolfsburg was bound to lose sooner or later, each of the six teams above them in the table avoided defeat at least last weekend, meaning that Kovac’s side lost further ground on the Champions League qualification positions ahead of their test against the reigning champions on Sunday.
Moreover, Kovac’s chances of lifting the DFB-Pokal for the fourth time across his playing and managerial careers were ended in the capital on Tuesday evening, with Union Berlin coming from behind to win 2-1 and advance to the quarter-finals of Germany’s domestic cup at their expense.
As such, Kovac will be doubly determined to get one over on his former club, where he made 34 league appearances as a player before spending 16 months as the Bavarians’ manager until being sacked in November 2019, and they have every chance of causing an upset given the two teams’ form in recent weeks.
However, after dropping two more points against Eintracht Frankfurt in yet another 1-1 draw with Randal Kolo Muani rescuing a point for his side at the Allianz Arena last weekend, it has been a more positive week for Bayern.
Julian Nagelsmann‘s hopes of winning the DFB-Pokal for the first time were kept firmly alive when his side comfortably dispatched Mainz 05 by four goals to nil on Wednesday evening, with their new loan signing Joao Cancelo making his debut for the club at MEWA Arena.
Indeed, the right-back has been a slight problem position for Bayern ever since the retirement of Philipp Lahm in 2017, especially with Joshua Kimmich‘s best work clearly coming in central midfield. As such, the signing of Cancelo – which includes an option to buy the 28-year-old in the summer – represents quite the coup for the club.
Sometimes a new face – especially one as supremely gifted as Cancelo, who was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year by his peers in each of the last two seasons – can be the perfect remedy to get a team’s season back up and running.
While seven draws in 18 league games are clearly too many for a side as talented and ordinarily dominant as Bayern has been in recent years, they still head into the weekend’s action on top of the table, and they will be looking to reassert their supremacy in Lower Saxony on Sunday evening.