bundesliga.com presents everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s match...
Though they were on the receiving end of a 2-1 loss to FC Bayern on Matchday 1, Wolfsburg can be pleased with the way they acquitted themselves at the Allianz Arena. However, a home tie against Frankfurt is seen as must-win game for the top-four hopefuls. The Eagles aren’t going to go down without a fight though, as proven by last weekend’s 1-0 win over Freiburg, in which their robust, direct style made them a real handful.
There’s no change on the injury front for Wolfsburg with Swiss No 1 Diego Benaglio (flu), Christian Träsch (shoulder), Patrick Ochs (cruciate ligament) and Ivan Perisic (shoulder) all still sidelined for Saturday’s clash. Aaron Hunt could lose his place in the starting line-up to Maximilian Arnold despite recovering from a knock.
Still without veteran Alexander Meier, Thomas Schaaf is unlikely to rock the boat after seeing his Frankfurt side execute a near-perfect game plan against the club from the Black Forest. Carlos Zambrano came off the bench in the second half and may have done enough to earn a place in his first XI, which could see either Bamba Anderson dropped or Marco Russ moved into defensive midfield.
Kevin De Bruyne showed signs of still needing to shake off the summer cobwebs, but the Belgian remains one of the most influential members of Dieter Hecking’s squad. The 23-year-old completed 77 per cent of his passes last weekend, whilst carving out five chances for team-mates, who boasted a total of 13 shots from inside the area - impressive numbers against the record titleholders.
Scorer of their winning goal at home to SC Freiburg on Matchday 1, new recruit Haris Seferovic has proven he can find the back of the net, but was quick to temper expectations surrounding his seamless integration into life in Frankfurt. “I don’t like being in the spotlight,” said the Swiss international target man, who covered almost 12 kilometres at the Commerzbank Arena. “It can’t be expected of me that things will continue in the same vein in every match.”
Dieter Hecking: “Frankfurt will sit deeper than Bayern did. We’ve got to ensure we adapt to that situation and need to adopt a good, as well as safe, passing approach.”
Thomas Schaaf: “It doesn’t matter to me whether we’re favourites or not, it comes down to what the team make of their chances. We’ve taken another step in the right direction this week.”
“Leaving the pitch and saying ‘we all played well’ does nothing for us,” said Hecking, who wants his side to put their topsy-turvy early-season form behind them after needing penalties to beat Bundesliga 2 outfit SV Darmstadt 98 in the DFB Cup before failing to take their chances against Bayern at the Allianz Arena. Frankfurt, meanwhile, are still riding high on the wave of euphoria they generated in the summer, beginning their campaign with back-to-back victories in the league and cup.
The Wolves have won their last three encounters with Eintracht - scoring twice in each - including last season’s 2-1 win on home soil in which they were forced to overturn a half-time deficit to take all three points thanks to goals from Ivica Olic and Naldo. Should they take the lead, the hosts would be virtually guaranteed to pick up points having remained unbeaten on the previous eight occasions (six wins, two draws) in which they’ve broken the deadlock against the Eagles.
VfL Wolfsburg: Grün - Jung, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez - Guilavogui, Luiz Gustavo - Vieirinha, Arnold, De Bruyne - Olic
Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp - Ignjovski, Zambrano, Russ, Djakpa - Hasebe, Lanig - Valdez, Inui, Piazon - Seferovic