- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Defending champion Bayern Munich has little time to recover from its 4-1 beating at Wolfsburg before it hosts Schalke on Tuesday in the Bundesliga.

Pep Guardiola’s Bayern team still has an eight-point lead over Wolfsburg after its first Bundesliga defeat of the season, but Wolfsburg’s emphatic victory exposed, not for the first time, Bayern’s vulnerability to fast counter-attacks. Wolfsburg’s win brought to mind Real Madrid’s 4-0 win in Munich in the Champions League last season.

By conceding four goals, Bayern conceded as many as in its previous 17 matches.

Wolfsburg appears to be closing in on its target of becoming a permanent Champions League entrant and, after 18 matches, has 10 points more than it did when it won its only championship in 2009.

Here are some things to know about the midweek Bundesliga round of games:



Bayern players were at a loss for words after the beating at Wolfsburg, but few believe that Bayern will squander its lead in the standings.

“Wolfsburg is naturally a rival, but we are still eight points ahead,” midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said. “It’s all in our hands, we just have to find our game again and all will be well.”

Bayern’s two other Bundesliga defeats under Guardiola came after it had already clinched the title last season with a record seven matches to spare.



Schalke has a major problem to solve in Munich: how to compensate for the absence of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Dutch striker picked up a red card late in the 1-0 win over Hannover and has been banned for six matches. Schalke said it would appeal.

Fourth-place Schalke already has problems converting chances and Huntelaar’s absence could make matters worse.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting played an hour against Hannover despite having just returned from the African Cup of Nations, where he played for Cameroon. Kevin-Prince Boateng could be the second striker in Munich.



Augsburg’s dream season goes on. The team is fifth and within striking distance of a place in the Champions League. Its 3-1 win over Hoffenheim was its 10th of the season — only Bayern (14) and Wolfsburg (11) have more.

Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg joined Augsburg during the winter break on loan from Bayern and immediately made an impact.

“He is a young kid and he can still improve, but it’s really impressive how far he (has come) at 19,” Augsburg’s coach Markus Weinzierl said.

Augsburg travels to Borussia Dortmund Wednesday. “We want to win no matter where we play,” Hojbjerg said.



Dortmund, champion in 2011 and 2012 and runner-up the last two seasons, has dropped to last despite a 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen. Coach Juergen Klopp was encouraged nevertheless.

“It was important to show stability on the field,” Klopp said. For the first time this season, Dortmund did not concede a goal away.

Dortmund has scored only 18 goals and won only three of eight home matches.

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