A look at the facts and stats ahead of the opening Bundesliga game against 1. FC Köln.
At 15:30 CEST on Saturday, the waiting will finally be over as VfL Wolfsburg return to Bundesliga action. After their 5-3 extra-time win at Hallescher FC in the cup on Monday, promoted side Köln are the Wolves’ first league opponents of the new season. History is certainly on VfL’s side: they have won eight and lost just one of their last 13 meetings with the Billy Goats at home – a 3-2 reverse in January 2010. And more recently, the Wolves have been hard to beat at the Volkswagen Arena.
More facts and stats:
Wolfsburg and Köln have faced off 26 times in the top flight, and again the Green-Whites have a clear lead overall (12 wins, nine draws, five defeats).
VfL are unbeaten in their last seven home games (five wins, two draws). The last time they went eight matches unbeaten on home turf was between September and December 2017, when they recorded two wins and six draws.
This is the third time that the Wolves are kicking off their Bundesliga campaign against the Billy Goats. VfL claimed a 2-1 win at home at the start of their title-winning season in 2008/09, while in 2011 they cruised to a 3-0 away victory in Cologne.
VfL managing director Jörg Schmadtke comes face to face with his successor at Köln, Armin Veh. Schmadtke held the same position at the Billy Goats from 2013 to 2017, while Veh had a stint as Wolves head coach from July 2009 until January 2010.
No other team in the Bundesliga improved on their league position in 2018/19 as much as VfL. The Wolves climbed from 16th place in the previous season to sixth and thus qualified for the Europa League.
Köln were promoted to the top flight for the sixth time in their history in 2018/19 and equalled SC Freiburg’s record of four Bundesliga 2 titles since it became a single division.