Third in the Bundesliga standings, VfL Wolfsburg welcome SC Freiburg, sitting 15th, to the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday (kick-off: 15:30 CEST). The Wolves are unbeaten this season (W2 D1), while Freiburg remain winless (D1 L2), even if – according to VfL head coach Bruno Labbadia – the table doesn't reflect how well the Black Forest side have been playing. "They could have won all three games," the 52-year-old said at his pre-match press conference. "We know it'll be a really tough game and we'll have to be at our best."
Plenty of spirit
Freiburg showed real character on Matchday 3, responding to successive defeats by rescuing a 3-3 draw at home to VfB Stuttgart. Having taken a first-minute lead, Christian Streich's side twice went behind, but Luca Waldschmidt's late goal secured a share of the points.
For his part, Streich highlighted the Wolves' goal threat at his pre-match media briefing: "It's been clear in the first few games that as well as being disciplined, VfL Wolfsburg also possess plenty of creativity."
Indeed, with seven goals from six different scorers, the Wolves are only bettered in the scoring charts by league-leaders Bayern Munich (nine). One of those goalscorers, Yunus Malli, will be hopeful of extending his personal tally on Saturday: the Turkey international has scored four career goals against Freiburg and created a further three, more than against any other club.
Personnel concerns for the visitors
It isn't just Malli who has enjoyed coming up against Freiburg down the years – Wolfsburg have won seven of the last nine against Saturday's guests, including both outings last season. Back in the most recent meeting in April, Daniel Didavi scored twice to give VfL a vital 2-0 win in the fight for survival.
Just as on that occasion, Freiburg will likely be missing some key players this weekend. Jerome Gondorf is fighting an infection, Nils Petersen has knee problems and Janik Haberer has had to sit out of training due to a collision. Sent off against Stuttgart last time out, Pascal Stenzel is suspended for the trip to Lower Saxony.