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Bundesliga preview: Tough test beckons for Bayern

11 August 2011 22:28

Bayern Munich travel to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, hoping to avoid a repeat of last season's stuttering start to the season.

The Bavarian giants won just twice in their first seven matches of the 2010/11 Bundesliga season and were inconsistent throughout the campaign.

Bayern's poor performance saw them surrender their domestic crown to Borussia Dortmund almost without a fight.

The meek surrender cost Louis van Gaal his job as coach, only 11 months after securing a league and cup double and guiding the club to the Champions League final.

Jupp Heynckes, tempted to the Allianz Arena from Bayer Leverkusen, is the man charged with recovering the title from Dortmund.

But 2011/12 did not begin according to plan last week, as Bayern went down 1-0 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach, a team forced to secure their top-flight status by winning last's relegation playoff.

The only goal of the match came from a combined error by Bayern's two biggest arrivals of the close season, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and his Germany international teammate Jerome Boateng.

The signing of Neuer, a confirmed Schalke fanatic, was met with considerable disapproval by the Bayern support, and his part in their embarrassing opening-day defeat will have done little to rehabilitate his reputation.

Their next opponents, Wolfsburg, were also fortunate to survive last season, finishing just two points above Monchengladbach.

But they made a flying start to the new term, winning 3-0 at Cologne, who will hope for a better return from their trip to Schalke on Saturday.

It was business as usual for the champions, as Dortmund accounted for Hamburg with a comprehensive 3-1 victory last Friday.

Jurgen Klopp's side are away to Hoffenheim this weekend, while Monchengladbach will look to build on their unlikely victory over Bayern when they host Stuttgart.

Also on Saturday, Hamburg play host to promoted Hertha Berlin, Nuremburg welcome Hannover and Freiburg await the visit of Mainz.

On Sunday, promoted Augsburg travel to Kaiserslautern and Leverkusen are at home to Werder Bremen.

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