A quirk of the impact the coronavirus has had on football means that the VfL Wolfsburg Women begin the 2020/21 season just five days after the previous campaign concluded with the 3-1 UEFA Women’s Champions League final defeat by Olympique Lyon.
The reigning league champions host SGS Essen in the opening game of the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga season on Friday 4 September (kick-off 19:15 CEST) at the AOK Stadion. And, for the first time since 21 February, VfL can look forward to the support of their fans in the stands, as 500 spectators will be allowed into the stadium, in strict compliance with legal guidelines and after consultation with the Wolfsburg public health department. Furthermore, the VfL-FußballWelt will also be open from 14:00 until 18:00 CEST.
“Definitely a sense of anticipation”
At his pre-match press conference ahead of the game, head coach Stephan Lerch gave his thoughts on…
…personnel: “Sara Doorsoun, Ewa Pajor and Fridolina Rolfö will all miss out through injury. On top of that, the majority of the squad have a lot of minutes in their legs from the UEFA Champions League games in Spain.”
…looking forward to the start of the new season: “There’s definitely a sense of anticipation. It could be an advantage for us to play again so soon after losing the [Champions League] final. Our focus is now only on looking forward. There’s nothing better than being back out on the pitch and being able to celebrate victories.”
…the return of supporters: “We’re all absolutely delighted that there’ll finally be fans back in the stadium. Right now, when everyone’s still a bit down, that could be a great boost for us.”
…the opposition: “We don’t really have many video clips of Essen because we didn’t have a chance to get hold of that many videos of their friendlies. But we at least have an idea of how they’ll play. Having said that, a lot of the time teams line up more defensively when they face us. What we know for certain is that there’s been a big upheaval at Essen.”