First Team

Labbadia: “We put ourselves under pressure”

VfL Wolfsburg travel to Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday.

When VfL Wolfsburg take on Fortuna Düsseldorf at the Esprit Arena on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CEST), positive memories are sure to come flooding back for Green-White fans, who enjoyed a 4-1 victory against the Rheinlanders at the same stadium six years ago to the day.

The same outcome this time round would be a welcome boost given the Wolves are currently six without a win in the Bundesliga. Ahead of the clash, head coach Bruno Labbadia offered his thoughts on…

…the personnel situation: "Robin Knoche wasn’t able to train this week. He was having trouble with his groin last week and unfortunately it hasn’t gone away. We’ll have to see how it develops. It’s a similar situation for Admir Mehmedi, who got a knock to his knee on Saturday. Josuha Guilavogui wasn’t able to complete a full session on Sunday because he was struggling with a muscular problem but his knee is okay now at least. Ignacio Camacho has had an operation on his ankle to try and remedy the pain permanently, but we’re not sure how long that’ll mean he’s out for."

…his defensive midfield quandary: "It’s no secret that we don’t have an all-out defensive midfielder available at the moment. I had some ideas over the weekend but they were quickly put paid to by this week’s injuries. Being flexible is part and parcel of football, though, and it’s our job to find solutions with the options we have available."

…the tactical battle with his opposite number, Friedhelm Funkel: "Düsseldorf could do several things in terms of players and positions. Friedhelm said after the game against Frankfurt that there weren’t many players who convinced him they were worthy of a starting place. We’re expecting an intense, hard-fought match with the game decided by who wants it more. We need to try and impose our style of play, though."

…the pressure going into the match: "We want to win every game, right from the start of the season. The only pressure is the pressure we put on ourselves to be successful, so in that regard this game is no different to any other."



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