The key facts and figures ahead of VfL Wolfsburg’s first competitive match of 2019.
VfL Wolfsburg and FC Schalke 04 have faced each other 47 times in the Bundesliga and DFB Cup. The Royal Blues have the upper hand with 18 wins to the Wolves’ 13, but Bruno Labbadia’s side ended the first half of the 2018/19 campaign in impressive form, winning three away games on the spin in December.
The Green-Whites also managed to arrest their losing run at the Veltins-Arena on their last visit to Gelsenkirchen. We’ve rounded up all the key facts and stats ahead of the teams’ next encounter:
On their last visit to Schalke during the 2017/18 season, a Divock Origi equaliser five minutes into second-half stoppage time earned the Wolves a 1-1 draw, which ended a run of seven straight defeats at the Veltins-Arena.
VfL were reigning Bundesliga champions the last time they managed to beat Schalke away from home. Edin Dzeko’s brace earned Armin Veh’s side a 2-1 victory on 18 September 2009.
Grafite has scored more goals for VfL against Schalke (eight) than any other player (Dzeko and Tomislav Maric are level on five apiece), while Kevin Kuranyi is the Royal Blues’ top goalscorer against the Wolves with eight.
The Green-Whites also began the second half of last season with a Sunday evening match in the Ruhr District. Martin Schmidt’s side held Borussia Dortmund to a creditable 0-0 draw in a game that also kicked off at 18:00 CET.
VfL have won their last three games on the road (against FC Augsburg, 1. FC Nürnberg and Eintracht Frankfurt) - their best such run since 2011.
The Wolves are currently third in the away form table with 16 points from their eight matches. Only Borussia Dortmund (17) and Bayern Munich (21) have picked up more points on the road this season.
Only twice before have VfL registered four consecutive away wins in the Bundesliga. The Green-Whites won four successive away matches between February and April 2009 before repeating the feat 12 months later.
If he makes an appearance against Schalke on Sunday, Maximilian Arnold will climb to joint-third in the list of VfL’s record Bundesliga appearance-makers. The 24-year-old would move level with Miroslav Karhan on 173 appearances - only Marcel Schäfer (256) and Diego Benaglio (259) have featured more often for the Wolves in Germany’s top flight.
Incredible, unforgettable and always worth a mention: Photos of the Wolves’ penalty shootout against Schalke in the 1970 DFB Cup - the first in the history of the competition - are on display at the VfL-Fußballwelt
Referee: Manuel Gräfe (Berlin) Assistants: Marco Achmüller, Markus Sinn Fourth official: Robert Kampka