Jeffrey Bruma (l.) is one of the new faces at Wolfsburg. - © imago
Jeffrey Bruma (l.) is one of the new faces at Wolfsburg. - © imago
Bundesliga

Bundesliga season preview: VfL Wolfsburg

With not long until the 2016/17 Bundesliga season gets under way in earnest, it is high time to put each club's upcoming campaign under the microscope. Accordingly, bundesliga.com's previews will provide you with all you need to know ahead of the big kick-off on 26 August…

Big question

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Next up are VfL Wolfsburg

With no European football as a distraction this term, can Wolfsburg capitalise in the Bundesliga and mount a serious top-four push?

The Wolves impressed at the continent's top table last season, reaching the last eight of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club's history and going out narrowly to Real Madrid CF by a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.

That alone, however, was not enough to salvage a poor domestic campaign, in which Wolfsburg's DFB Cup defence ended in the second round at the hands of FC Bayern München.

Watch: check out the highlights from Wolfsburg's summer tour of China

- © imago

Things were little better in the league, as Dieter Hecking's side ended the season in eighth – six places away from their runners-up finish in 2014/15 – and with the second-worst away record (W3 D4 L10).

The summer departures of Andre Schürrle and Naldo have made Hecking's task of steering the Wolves back into the top four harder than it otherwise would have been, but there are several exciting young arrivals chomping at the bit for a chance to impress.

- © gettyimages / Nigel Treblin

New faces

Coach

Key man

Watch: Julian Draxler features in 2015/16's best assists

Julian Draxler underlined his prodigious talent at UEFA EURO 2016, chipping in with a goal and an assist as Germany reached the semi-finals. The attacking midfielder also shone on the continent for Wolfsburg last season, scoring three goals in the Wolves' memorable run to the last eight of the Champions League.

For his club this term, though, the only focus is on the domestic game, where the 22-year-old has often only been able to shine in fits and starts. The departure of Schürrle leaves Draxler in sole charge of the Wolves' creativity, with his side now looking to him to step up and embrace that responsibility.

Pre-season form

Most recent first: LDLW

Key dates

Wolfsburg kick off their season with a trip to FC Augsburg, before welcoming Dortmund on Matchday 4. Hecking's troops head to Munich to face Bayern on Matchday 14 and Borussia Mönchengladbach for their following away game on Matchday 16.

Click here to see Wolfsburg's full schedule

Home ground

A purpose-built, 30,000-seater stadium, the Volkswagen Arena is home to the Wolves.

Watch: get to know the Volkswagen Arena in the exclusive video tour below