The Wolves play what is arguably the toughest fixture in the Bundesliga calendar relatively early on this season. At 17:30 CEST on Sunday 14 August, head coach Niko Kovac’s side travel to Bayern Munich on Matchday 2 of the 2022/23 top-flight campaign. The Bavarians’ well-oiled attacking machine has been running on overdrive since the departure of the prolific Robert Lewandowski, with Julian Nagelsmann’s team scoring 11 goals in their opening two competitive games of the season.
The Green-and-Whites have nothing to fear, however: They are unbeaten in their last five Bundesliga matches stretching back to last season – a run which includes the 2-2 draw with Bayern in the final game of 2021/22. At Thursday’s press conference ahead of the teams’ latest meeting, Kovac answered the media’s questions on…
…personnel: “We had 24 outfield players on the pitch today. Yannick Gerhardt is obviously still injured. Jonas Wind suffered a hamstring injury in training yesterday, he won’t be available for this game. Bartol Franjic has a thigh problem and trained on his own today. As long as his fitness test went well, he’ll be able to take part in training tomorrow.”
…VfL’s meagre record against Bayern: “If we go there and don’t believe we can win, there’s no point in us turning up. We are athletes and, sometimes, calculated optimists. We want to try and get something. We’ll see what we end up with.”
…the record champions’ relentless consistency: “Bayern are always strong and they will be again this year. We know they have a great squad and strong players. Every team will come under pressure against them – Frankfurt did recently and we will too. We have to make sure we implement our game plan, because we will have chances. There just won’t be too many of them and if we don’t take them, we can’t win the game. We need to take the few that come our way.”
…Josuha Guilavogui’s performance against Bremen: “Josh steered the game in the right direction for us on Saturday. He came in and contested challenges that we should have been contesting in the first half. It was incredibly important for us and we have to fight those duels in Munich too. I know what Josh can do. The way he’s performing at the moment, I see no reason to let him go.”
…dealing with setbacks: “You have to assume that you’ll fall behind and, if you do, you have to stick to what you set out to do. It’s always worse when you fall apart there. You can concede first any time, but in Munich that makes things dangerous right away because it sparks the opponents’ enthusiasm.”