Cologne – On 1 August, DFB Cup winners VfL Wolfsburg face up to Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München at the Volkswagen Arena for the 2015 Supercup. Bayern will be regarded by many as the favourites, but bundesliga.com has five reasons why the trophy might just be staying in Lower Saxony.
1. Their last meeting
30 January 2015 is not a date the record German champions will be keen to remember. That was when the second half of the season got underway at the Volkswagen Arena, with the Wolves sending Bayern home with their tails between their legs off the back of a 4-1 victory. Bayern conceded as many goals in this single Matchday 18 clash as they had in the entire first half of the season, while it was the first time in almost six years that they conceded more than three goals in a Bundesliga game.
2. Counter-attacking key to success
Wolfsburg, who averaged a solid 54 per cent possession in the 2014/15 season, knew they would not be able to compete with Bayern in that department, so they did not even try. Instead, Dieter Hecking's men just sat and waited, focusing instead on quick counter-attacks. It worked a treat. Even though Wolfsburg had their lowest amount of possession all season (36 percent), they were more efficient with it, scoring three of their four goals on the break.
3. Quality throughout the side
With the freshly-crowned Player of the Year for 2014/15 Kevin De Bruyne, Wolfsburg have one of the best counter-attacking players in the Bundesliga. The Belgian uses his pace, excellent close control and exquisite touch to provide the assists Dieter Hecking will need against Bayern. In his last game against Bayern, he scored two and gave Bayern defender Dante recurring nightmares in the one-on-one. Together with new recruit Max Kruse, the lightning-fast Andre Schürrle and multi-tasking Daniel Caligiuri, he has some top quality players by his side.
4. Fighting and running
Anybody who manages to win more tackles than Bayern has a good chance of beating the record champions. Out of the six games in which Bayern won less than 49 per cent of their challenges in 2014/15, they won only two. On Matchday 18, Wolfsburg won more tackles and also covered more ground than usual, running a full three kilometres more than their average for the season (115km).
5. Fortress Volkswagen-Arena
The fact that this year's Supercup will be played in Wolfsburg should play into the hands of the Wolfpack. Last season, they were the only Bundesliga side not to be beaten on home soil (13 wins, four draws), while they never conceded more than two goals in a single game.