Mandzukic: No favours for old club Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic will be looking to show his old club Wolfsburg what they are missing when they host the runaway Bundesliga leaders tomorrow. Mandzukic has been in great form since joining Bayern last July from Wolves and his five goals in the three league games so far in 2013 have helped the Bavarians open a 15-point lead at the top of the table. By both finishing and creating chances - he has netted 14 goals in 18 matches - Mandzukic has restricted Germany striker Mario Gomez to only the occasional start for Bayern.
"I knew I had to believe in myself from the start," said the 26-year-old Croatian international. "Now I expect to play in every game." Having left Wolfsburg after two years where Mandzukic tallied 20 goals and competed in 56 league matches, the former Dinamo Zagreb forward has been in outstanding form and there will be no place for sentiment with the league leaders hunting their 18th league win from 22 games
"We want to be the boss on the pitch again," said Mandzukic, who still backs his old team to thrive with Wolves coach Dieter Hecking having picked up two wins in his four matches since taking charge in December. "They have a good team and good individual players but I think they need some time until everything works the way it should be."
Bayern will not under-estimate Wolfsburg, who earned a shock 3-2 win against defending champions Borussia Dortmund in December, especially with Brazil playmaker Diego bossing the midfield. "I won't allow my players any sloppiness," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "We have not yet reached our goal, so we can't allow ourselves to be swayed by anything."
One factor in Wolfsburg's favour is Bayern's looming UEFA Champions League tie against Arsenal in London next Tuesday. "We'll start thinking about that as of Saturday," Heynckes added. "It still gives us enough time to prepare for Arsenal," said Kroos.
Bayern have few injury problems for the trip to Wolfsburg with Javi Martinez out with a bruised big toe, as is back-up striker Claudio Pizarro (throat infection), while Dante (stomach problems) should be fit. Meanwhile, Wolves striker Patrick Helmes could make his first appearance of the season and is rated as "50-50" by coach Dieter Hecking after tearing knee ligaments last August.