BUNDESLIGA

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund Preview

All the latest news and information as Wolfsburg host Borussia Dortmund at the Volkswagen Arena as both sides look to continue their winning return to Bundesliga action.

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund Preview
MARTIN MEISSNER AFP

Wolfsburg Predicted XI vs Borussia Dortmund

Casteels; Mbabu, Knoche, Brooks, Otavio; Schlager, Arnold; Steffen, Mehmedi, Brekalo; Weghorst

Borussia Dortmund Predicted XI vs Wolfsburg

Bürki; Piszczek, Hummels, Akanji; Hakimi, Can, Brandt, Guerreiro; Sancho, Haaland, Hazard

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund Preview

In one of four Bundesliga games being played at 15:30 (local time CEST) on Saturday Wolfsburg host Borussia Dortmund with both sides in the hunt at the right end of the table. For the home side European qualification is the target and they currently occupy the final automatic Europa League spot. However with SC Freiburg and Schalke only two points behind they will need to improve on their home form in the remaining games if they are remain there. They have won just twice at home in the league since October and face a Dortmund side in good form.

Wolfsburg needed a last-minute winner against relegation threatened Augsburg last weekend to secure all three points but Daniel Ginczek's stoppage-time goal will have given them confidence. Coach Oliver Glasner has instilled a high-intensity, high-pressing style and they can cause any teams problems on their day. They are strengthened by the return from suspension of top scorer Wout Weghorst, the statuesque striker has 11 Bundesliga goals so far this season.

Dortmund’s return to Bundesliga action last weekend could not have been more comfortable and new players drafted in to cover for injuries performed impressively. Chief among them was Julian Brandt, playing as an advanced playmaker in Jadon Sancho’s absence, who notched up two assists. His interplay with Achraf Hakimi down the right flank was too much for Schalke and the full-back areas could again be key this week.

Leading the line for Dortmund will be Erling Haaland. The 19-year-old closes in on yet another goal-scoring record. His opener last week was his tenth in just nine Bundesliga appearances and a goal at Wolfsburg would see him equal the Bundesliga record for most goals in a player’s first ten matches.

On Saturday evening Bayern Munich face an Eintracht Frankfurt side who beat them 5-1 in November to confirm the departure of Bayern boss Niko Kovac. Dortmund will look to put the pressure on with a win and hope for a repeat.

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund: Injuries and Suspensions

Weghorst’s return from suspension will be the big news for the home side but they will be without club captain Joshua Guilavogui and midfielder Yannick Gerhardt. Usual right-back William is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his cruciate ligament but his deputy Kevin Mbabu produced a sensation assist for the winner last week.

Dortmund had been missing a number of key players due to injury but are strengthened by the return of Emre Can and Jadon Sancho. Can and teenager Giovanni Reyna were both involved in training this week while Sancho has recovered from a slight groin complaint that saw him limited to a substitute appearance last time out.

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund: What the managers said

Oliver Glasner (Wolfsburg): “[Haaland] is a tough, sturdy striker that Dortmund was searching [for] because they were missing that. The combination of their great wingers, Hazard, Brandt, Sancho or Reina, who are very fast and quick, and his sturdiness in the middle fits very well and has made Borussia Dortmund’s game much better.”

Lucien Favre (Borussia Dortmund): "Wolfsburg has changed a few things tactically. They have a more concrete first team and are very stable.”

Prediction: Both sides enjoyed confidence-boosting victories last week and their proactive styles should make for an exciting game. Wolfsburg will likely manufacture some chance but Dortmund’s wealth of attacking talent should be enough to overpower their hosts. 1-3