Patrik Schick is in line for his Bayer Leverkusen debut against Wout Weghorst and Wolfsburg on the opening weekend as two of the Bundesliga's top scorers from last season go head-to-head on Sunday (kick-off: 6pm CEST/5pm BST/12pm ET).
Wolfsburg clinched their return to European football last season with a seventh-place finish to earn them a UEFA Europa League qualification spot, spearheaded by the 20-goal campaign of Weghorst. Wolfsburg overcame Regionaliga side Union Fürstenwalde 4-1 in the DFB Cup first round last week, with Joao Victor scoring twice. Weghorst will lead the line for Oliver Glasner's side, who are without right-backs Kevin Mbabu and William due to injury. Felix Klaus, normally a winger, should drop into defence for Leverkusen's visit. The Wolves have bolstered their defence elsewhere, however, and 20-year-old Maxence Lacroix should start alongside John Brooks in the centre of defence. Xaver Schlager could accompany vice-captain Maximilian Arnold in midfield, despite Yannick Gerhardt starting the DFB Cup victory.
Leverkusen also clinched a European place last term, but not the competition they were hoping for as they finished just two points behind Borussia Mönchengladbach and the final UEFA Champions League place. It's also been a busy summer in the transfer market for Peter Bosz's side, who have seen both Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland depart the club - for Chelsea and Monaco respectively - while Schick has signed from Roma having spent last season on loan at RB Leipzig. The Czech could be supported in attack by Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz, who is tipped to be the immediate heir to Havertz at the BayArena. The 17-year-old became Die Werkself's youngest ever player and the Bundesliga's youngest scorer during 2019/20. Leon Bailey and Paulinho will miss out, but Bosz has plenty of attacking options with the likes of Exequiel Palacios and Karim Bellarabi also pushing for a place in the Leverkusen starting line-up.
Watch: Weghorst's Top 5 goals
- Weghorst was Wolfsburg's top scorer last season with 16 goals. Only Robert Lewandowski (34), Timo Werner (28) and Jadon Sancho (17) scored more league-wide.
- Despite that, no team in the top half of the table scored fewer goals than the Wolves' total of 48.
- Wolfsburg were Bundesliga champions in 2009. Leverkusen are five-time runners-up, but have never lifted the Meisterschale.
- Wirtz overtook Havertz as Leverkusen's youngest ever debutant and scorer last term. He made his debut two weeks past his 17th birthday and scored his first goal - against Manuel Neuer no less - at the age of 17 years, one month and four days old.
- Peter Bosz has won 57 percent of the games he has overseen since being appointed as Leverkusen coach in December 2018.
- Die Werkself missed out on the Champions League places by two points last term, though, with Borussia Mönchengladbach pipping them to fourth place.
Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Klaus, Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio - Schlager, Arnold - Steffen, Mehmedi, Brekalo - Weghorst
Out: Guilavogui (suspended), Mbabu (knee), Pongracic (glandular fever)
Doubtful: William (knee)
Coach: Oliver Glasner
Leverkusen: Hradecky - L. Bender, S. Bender, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven - Wirtz, Aranguiz (c), Demirbay - Amiri, Schick, Diaby
Out: Bailey (match fitness), Paulinho (knee)
Coach: Peter Bosz