Friday, August 12, 2022

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: Can The Hosts Stop The Free-Flowing Die Schwarzgelben?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Die Englische Woche takes its place for the first time this season as all Bundesliga clubs face a grueling schedule of midweek league matches just as we use to see in England.

On Tuesday, an epic clash awaits as back on form – Borussia Dortmund face a newly minted VfL Wolfsburg side, looking to get back among the German elites again this season.

Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund are currently seeming to be walking around with a 6:0 whooping stick as they once again clobbered the poor Darmstadt side six goals to nil, in what was their second consecutive 6:0 victory following their Champions League win against Legia by the same score line.

Christian Pulisic found the net as well as several other Dortmund stars, including a brace from Gonzalo Castro and goals from Adrian Ramos, Emre Mor and Sebastian Rode. The Black and Yellows dominated the whole game and created a mountain chances to pressurize the weak Darmstadt defence.

After three match days, Dortmund are currently fifth in the table and three points off leaders Bayern. Die Schwarzgelben also moved to the second spot in the all-time Bundesliga table thanks to their emphatic win against the Lilies.

Wolfsburg, on the other hand, have undergone a summer of changes just like their opponents on midweek. After a disappointing season last term, the Wolves have completed a full squad overhaul this summer. Dante, Bas Dost, Andre Schurrle, Max Kruse and Naldo all moved to pastures new whilst players such as Mario Gomez, Jeffrey Bruma, Yannick Gerhardt and few other exciting came into the club.

Dieter Hecking’s men played out a second consecutive 0:0 draw in their weekend trip to Hoffenheim. The Wolves were easily the better side but misfiring forwards made life difficult for Hecking, as his side have only scored two goals in three games this season. A dreadful miss by Julian Draxler didn’t help either.

DORTMUND, GERMANY - APRIL 30: Head coach Dieter Hecking reacts during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg at Signal Iduna Park on April 29, 2016 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)
DORTMUND, GERMANY – APRIL 30: Head coach Dieter Hecking reacts during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg at Signal Iduna Park on April 29, 2016 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)

With a squad boasting the likes of Draxler, Gomez, Luiz Gustavo and several other top quality footballers of the modern game, no one can doubt the quality and the fact that, they should easily be competing in Champions League football every season.

Wolfsburg, seeking for a win after a disappointing start to the season, will have to play to their potential to outclass the Dortmund side, brimming with quality and youth. While Thomas Tuchel himself, will have a major test as to see if his young side are good enough to compete with the big boys.

Borussia Dortmund were the 2:1 winners in the corresponding fixture last season, which was their first win in five trips to the Volkswagen Arena. However, Wolfsburg are known to be a good home side as they were unbeaten in the last four fixtures with three back to back wins and a draw. We can expect goals too from this one, as both the sides have found the back of the net in their previous five home meetings, averaging 2.5 goals per game.

Team News

Thomas Tuchel is currently experiencing a major injury crisis with the likes of Neven Subotic, Sven Bender, Erik Durm and Marco Reus all out due to injuries. Former Wolfsburg player, Andre Schurrle, who arrived at Dortmund for a fee of 32 million this summer, has also missed the last two fixtures due to poor fitness.

Meanwhile at Wolfsburg, they will miss midfielders Joshua Guilavogui and Luiz Gustavo, who is out due to a muscle problem. However, Daniel Didavi’s absence will be a big blow for head coach Dieter Hecking, as the former Stuttgart man has a very good record against the Black and Yellows in the past seasons.

Key Players

New signings Raphael Guerreiro and Ousmane Dembele stole the show last week against Darmstadt. The clever movements of Guerreiro and the fast feet of Dembele caused a havoc for the Darmstadt defense time and time again. The duo’s incredible performance might just be enough to earn them a starting birth against Wolfsburg on Tuesday. Gonzalo Castro will no doubt be the main man for Dortmund, the 29-year-old midfielder is in sensational form recently, scoring three goals in two games and also contributing with a few assists as well.

Raphael Guerreiro 2

As for Wolfsburg, decimated by the absence of Luiz Gustavo, Guilavogui and Daniel Didavi, midfielder Maximilian Arnold might be an important figure in the middle for Dieter Hecking’s side. Mario Gomez also has a point to prove as he looks to get back in form against Dortmund. The duo of Gomez and Draxler upfront will be the main offensive threat. And most importantly (for the Dortmund fans), this will be a homecoming for Polish winger Jakub ‘KUBA’ Blaszczykowski, the 30-year-old spent nine seasons at the Westfalenstadion before moving to Wolfsburg this summer. He will, no doubt, be eager to impress his former club.

Predicted Lineups

VfL Wolfsburg: (4-2-3-1 formation) Koen Casteels; Vieirinha, Wollschied, Jeffrey Bruma, Ricardo Rodriguez; Maximilian Arnold, Yannick Gerhardt; Jakub Blaszczykowski, Julian Draxler, Daniel Caligiuri; Mario Gomez

Borussia Dortmund: (4-1-4-1 formation) Roman Burki; Felix Passlack, Sokratis, Marc Bartra, Marcel Schmelzer; Julian Weigl; Mario Götze, Gonzalo Castro, Raphael Guerreiro, Ousmane Dembele; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2:0 VfL Wolfsburg

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