Wolfsburg - After a bitterly disappointing start to the season, which looked set to end in the side falling short of their own high expectations once more, Wolfsburg fans can afford to look ahead to 2013 with increasing optimism.

Bottom of the league with just five points gained and two goals scored in their first eight matches, Wolfsburg parted ways with coach Felix Magath and appointed his former assistant Lorenz-Günther Köstner in temporary charge. In their nine ensuing games, the Wolves collected 14 points and hit the net 15 times, as slowly but surely the 2009 Bundesliga champions moved away from the relegation zone.

Playmaker is undoubtedly the Wolves' standout man, orchestrating proceedings from his position in central midfield. He was sorely missed last season during his loan spell in Spain, but has proved his worth already this term, scoring four goals and providing a further three assists, meaning he has been directly involved in over 40 per cent of his side's goals. If they are to turn things around this season, the Brazilian's form and fitness will be imperative.

Diego's compatriot was largely unheard of outside his homeland before joining Wolfsburg in the summer, but the 23-year-old is quickly making a name for himself in the Bundesliga. Unflustered by the competition for places in the division's largest squad, the pacy right-back started every league game this term, completing 75 per cent of his passes and winning almost 55 per cent of all challenges.

265 - Number of crosses Wolfsburg's wingers have whipped in - the league's second-highest quota.
41 - Percentage of Wolfsburg's league goals summer signing has scored (seven from 17).
11 - Number of goals the Wolves have scored on the road so far, almost double their tally at home (six).
4 - Number of times Wolfsburg have picked up points after going 1-0 down - more than any other side.

"I'm a religious person. God paves my way and he has now brought me back to Wolfsburg. It's a good feeling to be back wearing the VfL kit. I'm here in mind, body and soul. The fans' greeting was incredibly friendly and I felt that I once again belonged to the VfL family," said midfield superstar Diego, after returning from a season-long loan at Atletico Madrid.