Feb 12 (Reuters) - VfL Wolfsburg’s record signing Andre Schuerrle will face former club Bayern Leverkusen in only his second game back in the Bundesliga on Saturday but there is no room for sentimentality as they chase leaders Bayern Munich.
Schuerrle returned to Germany after a poor spell at Chelsea earlier this month for a reported 32 million euros, making him one of the most expensive Bundesliga transfers in history.
The speedy winger, who made his international name when he moved from Mainz 05 to Leverkusen in 2011, enjoyed a sensational debut last week, setting up two goals in Wolfsburg’s 3-0 win over Hoffenheim to stay in second place, eight points behind Bayern.
Wolfsburg are confident the addition of the German World Cup winner will give them that extra boost they need to rejoin the Bundesliga elite, after dropping off the radar following their sensational 2009 Bundesliga title victory.
“I had great years at Leverkusen and am looking forward to seeing the boys again,” Schuerrle told reporters. “But this is about three points.”
“This is not a special game for me because I am now at Wolfsburg and I desperately want those three points.”
The Lower Saxony club, heavily criticised for using car maker Volkswagen’s millions to boost their squad, were already in their stride before Schuerrle’s arrival, and have carved out a seven-point lead over third-placed Schalke 04.
Striker Ivan Perisic is doubtful for the game at Leverkusen on Saturday but Wolfsburg have enough fire power even without the Croat, with Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne netting four goals in his last two games and Dutch forward Bas Dost also enjoying a fine scoring form.
They will, however, be hoping Bayern slip up against visiting Hamburg SV after the champions’ lacklustre start to the year with just one win in their last three league games.
Hamburg are counting on new signings, former Bayern striker Ivica Olic and hard-working Chile defender Marcelo Diaz, to help them out of their relegation trouble in their 100th Bundesliga derby against the Bavarians.
The former European champions are in 12th place, four points above the relegation playoff spot.
Borussia Dortmund, last season’s runners-up, who occupy that spot were boosted by the contract extension of winger Marco Reus this week and will be looking for their first home win of the year when they take on Mainz 05 to move out of trouble. (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)