After reaching the last 16 of the DFB Cup in midweek, VfL Wolfsburg welcome Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund to the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET). The in-form visitors are still unbeaten this season and possess the deadliest attack in the league, having scored 29 goals.
“We want to cause Dortmund problems”
“There’s a reason why they’re clear at the top,” assessed VfL head coach Bruno Labbadia in his pre-match press conference. “They’re very organised, have good individual players and play very good football - they’re the team to beat in the Bundesliga. We’ll have our work cut out but we want to cause Dortmund problems too,” he added. After the 3-0 win at Fortuna Düsseldorf and the 2-0 cup success against Hannover 96, the Wolves are looking to continue their own good run.
Beware of Sancho
The last time the Green-Whites defeated BVB was in the final of the DFB Cup in 2015. The previous meeting between the two sides in the Bundesliga in January ended goalless, but Dortmund have found the net in every game this season with the exception of their Matchday 2 draw at Hannover. A key figure in their attack has been winger Jadon Sancho, who has scored four goals and set up another four in his last five league appearances.
Injury concerns for BVB
Their attack may be firing but Dortmund have been hit by a number of injuries to key players in defence. Marcel Schmelzer (bone edema), Jeremy Toljan, Lukasz Piszczek (both knee) and Abdou Diallo (muscle strain) are all ruled out for this match, while centre-back Manuel Akanji could also miss out with a hip problem. Mario Götze, who is currently suffering from bronchitis, is also a doubt. “We have no option but to rotate,” said head coach Lucien Favre ahead of the game. For the Wolves, Tuesday’s goalscorer Admir Mehmedi is struggling with a calf problem, while Felix Klaus (abdominal muscle) and Paul Verhaegh (neck) continue to step up their recoveries in training.