Berlin - Bayern Munich resume their seemingly relentless march towards a third straight Bundesliga title on Friday with coach Pep Guardiola relishing their clash at second-placed Wolfsburg.
The Bavarian giants hold an 11-point lead over the Wolves as the Bundesliga resumes after the winter break.
Bayern travel north amidst reports French winger Franck Ribery and Brazil defender Rafinha will both miss the match after picking up injuries in a training session on Wednesday.
Guardiola wants his side to hit the ground running before hosting Schalke 04 next Tuesday and then facing Stuttgart away the following Saturday.
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"I think it's good to face the team in second immediately because it forces us to pick up the pace," said Guardiola.
"Wolfsburg have played an outstanding season so far so that will be tough.
"Then we have our first home game of the new year against Schalke and that will also be difficult."
"We know how important the first two or three games will be and if we can win our first couple of games of 2015 then we will realise we can take a big step towards defending our Bundesliga title."
Wolfsburg play their first match since the death of Belgium Under-21 international Junior Malanda earlier this month in a car crash.
It remains to be seen whether China midfielder Zhang Xizhe makes his Bundesliga debut for Wolves.
Due to their massive lead, Bayern's main rivals have given up hope of catching them with Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking rejecting the media's label for his side of 'Bayern Hunters'.
Rudi Voeller, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen's director of sport, has insisted there are "worlds" between Bayern and the chasing pack.
At the other end of the table, last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund look to climb out of the relegation places.
Fifth-placed Schalke 04, who face holders Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League, host mid-table Hanover 96, who have re-signed Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan after a six-month sojourn with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad.For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.