• Both sides languishing in bottom half of table.
  • Wolfsburg looking to build on pre-Christmas positives.
  • Hamburg seeking relegation relief.

Strugglers VfL Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV will be seeking an immediate upturn in fortunes when they meet in a north German derby on Saturday (kick-off 15:30CET/14:30GMT).

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Wolfsburg ended 2016 by moving three points clear of Hamburg and the relegation play-off place thanks to back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The Wolves must now turn their home form around and look to build on their first victory of the season on Matchday 15 with their youthful array of new signings, including Yunus Malli and Riechedly Bazoer. They will look to compliment the experienced Mario Gomez in attack, who faces the club against whom he made his Bundesliga debut back in 2004.

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Hamburg also come into this derby on the back of a win and will be desperate to begin the new year with another victory in order to keep pace with the sides above them . Die Rothosen would be wise to ignore the history books ahead of this tie, as their recent record against Wolfsburg is poor, and they have also failed to win their opening game of a new year in the last six seasons.

Riechedly Bazoer is a number of new signings at Wolfsburg as they aim for an improved second half of the season. © imago

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Match Stats

  • Both teams ended 2016 with a win but have still had disappointing campaigns so far and have already changed coaches this term.
  • A win here would ensure the Wolves avoid their worst first half of a season ever (their previous worst is 18 points in 2005/06).
  • Hamburg have won just once on the road this season (at bottom side SV Darmstadt 98).
  • No team has fewer points at home that Wolfsburg (5) and Gomez is yet to score at home for them.
  • Wolfsburg are unbeaten in ten games against Hamburg – currently their longest run against any side.
  • A league game between HSV and Wolfsburg has never ended goalless.

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