• Wolves just three points above relegation zone.
  • Humbled in Dortmund, Ismael replaced Hecking.
  • Two wins to end year augur well for future.

At the halfway point of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season, it is time for to dissect the campaigns of each club so far.

Here we take a look at VfL Wolfsburg...

Story so far

Following on from the longest journey the Wolves have ever undertaken in Europe - reaching the last eight of the UEFA Champions League - was always going to be a tall order, and so it proved. The Wolves started out with a 2-0 win at FC Augsburg, but they did not win again until Matchday 10, and that run included a humbling 5-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund and 3-1 loss at SV Darmstadt 98. Dieter Hecking paid the price, with Valerien Ismael taking over as head coach and steadying the ship a with back-to-back wins at the end of the calendar year.

Watch: Mario Gomez bagged a brace as Wolfsburg beat Freiburg 3-0 on Mathday 10:

Star player: Ricardo Rodriguez

The Switzerland international full-back is a master of multi-tasking, combining his defensive duties with a deadly left-foot capable of sending in deliveries from deep and wide, while also showing a precision with some stunning set-pieces.

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Ricardo Rodriguez has been an ever-present for Wolfsburg this season.

Honourable mention: Mario Gomez

With 142 Bundesliga goals, there is no doubting the pedigree of Mario Gomez. Lured back to Germany by the Wolves after being the Turkish league's top-scorer last season, it took the 31-year-old a bit of time to settle back in, but Wolves fans are now seeing the Germany international in all his glory once again and a lot can be expected from the former VfB Stuttgart and FC Bayern München forward in 2017.

Mario Gomez is beginning to find his scoring groove after three years away from the Bundesliga.

Top facts

  • 11 of Wolfsburg's 16 points this season have come away from home.
  • Gomez is the Wolves' top scorer with five goals – all of which have come away from home.
  • Over a quarter of Wolfsburg's goals have come in the 15 minutes before half-time.