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Buoyant Bayern out to extend Wolfsburg’s losing-streak misery

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski can claim another goal record on Friday in his club’s last game of 2021 as the Bundesliga leaders look to extend Wolfsburg’s miserable six-match losing streak.

“We have one game before Christmas to try to collect three more points,” said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, whose side start the final weekend before the two-week winter break six points clear.  

Bayern are buoyed by winning the last six games in all competitions, including beating second-placed Bundesliga rivals Dortmund, then Barcelona to seal a perfect six wins from six Champions League group stage games.

The Bavarian giants also thrashed Stuttgart 5-0 on Tuesday with Serge Gnabry claiming the second Bundesliga hat-trick of his career.

In contrast, Wolfsburg have slid down the table to 11th after losing their last four league defeats.

Their head coach Florian Kohfeldt, who took over when Mark van Bommel was sacked in late October, won his first three games, but now finds himself under pressure after Tuesday’s latest set-back, a 3-2 home loss to Cologne. 

To compound Wolfsburg’s problems, joint top-scorer Lukas Nmecha is out with an ankle injury.

In contrast, Lewandowski can claim a new record for most goals scored in German league football during a calendar year.

He scored twice in Tuesday’s rout of Stuttgart to draw level with Gerd Mueller, who scored a record 42 goals over 12 months back in 1972. 

Lewandowski loves to score against Wolfsburg, netting 23 goals in 15 games against Wolves, the most he has scored against any club in Germany’s top flight.

That tally includes the five Lewandowski hit in nine jaw-dropping minutes when he came off the bench to steer Bayern to a 5-1 victory and claim a host of records in September 2015.  

Bayern will be without winger Kingsley Coman, who tore a thigh muscle in the win over Stuttgart.

One to watch: Marc Roca

A year since his transfer from Espanyol, the 25-year-old has seized his chance to finally show what he can do.

With his other defensive midfielders Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso and Marcel Sabitzer all sidelined, Bayern boss Nagelsmann gave Roca,  who had only played 25 minutes of Bundesliga football this season, his first league start this season at Stuttgart.

Roca seized his chance, turning in a superb performance, which Nagelsmann singled out for praise in the Bayern dressing room.

“I rarely do that, but Marc really deserved it. I love players like that,” enthused Nagelsmann after Roca showed “that it was a mistake to use him so rarely”

“To come in and give it his all – that was an outstanding performance,” said Nagelsmann as Roca’s smooth passing helped create goals for Gnabry and Lewandowski.

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