The most interesting facts ahead of the 53rd meeting between the Wolves and Hertha BSC.
When Oliver Glasner’s side host Hertha on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET), they can take heart from recent results against the capital club. The Green-and-Whites are unbeaten in the last five encounters, recording clean sheets in three of them. The overall head-to-head record between the two teams is more equal: in 52 previous clashes, the Wolves have won 18 and Hertha 20, leaving 14 draws. Here are some more stats, facts and oddities before VfL’s first home match of the new decade:
For the first time since their promotion to the Bundesliga, VfL are up against two clubs from Berlin in the same season. The first two of four matches this term ended in victory (3-0 at Hertha, 1-0 against Union).
The Green-and-Whites were promoted to the Bundesliga together with Hertha in 1997. While the Berliners have since dropped out of the league twice (in 2010 and 2012), VfL are now in their 23rd consecutive season in the top flight.
Although the head-to-head record between the two sides is relatively balanced, the Wolves have some catching up to do in the all-time Bundesliga table. Hertha currently rank 12th with 1,652 points, 196 wins ahead of 17th-placed VfL (1,064 points).
Jürgen Klinsmann’s only previous visit to Wolfsburg as a head coach ended in a famous 5-1 defeat for his Bayern Munich side on 4 April 2009.
A handful of players from the Wolves’ title-winning team in that 2008/09 season are still playing. In fact, two of them are currently in the Hertha squad, namely Peter Pekarik and Alexander Esswein.
Pal Dardai and Andreas Schmidt are the players who have featured in this fixture most often for Hertha (18 games each), followed by Dick van Burik (15). For VfL, Marcel Schäfer heads that particular list (12), although Maximilian Arnold will draw level with the club’s current sporting director with another appearance on Saturday – he’s currently tied with Diego Benaglio on 11.