On Sunday, February 11th (kick-off 18:00 CET), VfL Wolfsburg travel to SV Werder Bremen. As in the previous two away games of the New Year, the Wolves again close the 22nd matchday. When the sides last met, with head-coach Martin Schmidt making his debut on the VfL bench, a winner couldn’t be found, with the two sides playing out a 1-1 draw on September 19th last year. A mere four points separates the two teams, who have proven anything other than potent in front of goal this season (Bremen 18 goals, Wolfsburg 24). All signs would indicate a clash at eye-level.
The Wolves started into the Bundesliga action in 2018 with a win in Hannover, a defeat to Frankfurt and two draws (Dortmund, Stuttgart). The same tally also applies to Werder Bremen – with a win last weekend away to FC Schalke 04 (2-1), a defeat to the league leaders from Munich (4-2) and two draws against Hoffenheim (1-1) and Berlin (0-0), leading to an identical haul of points as VfL since the Bundesliga re-start. During that period, SVW scored five and conceded six. The Wolves have sunk the ball in the opposition net three times in 2018, whilst keeper Koen Casteels has been beaten four times.
Goals aplenty against Bremen
In 41 previous Bundesliga meetings with Bremen, VfL scored 74 goals – more than against any other opponent in the league. However: During a 2-7 home defeat to Werder on September 19th, 1999, the Wolves conceded more than six goals for the only time ever in their Bundesliga history. Wolfsburg’s goal-scorers on that occasion, Andrzej Juskowiak and Jonathan Akpoborie. Ailton and Claudio Pizarro, each netting a hat-trick, and Marco Bode were the scorers for SVW. VfL keeper Casteels could celebrate a special anniversary this weekend against his ex-club, where he was on loan and made six Bundesliga appearances during the latter half of the 2014/2015 Bundesliga season. The Belgian has made a total of 99 Bundesliga appearances thus far in his career (for Hoffenheim, Bremen and Wolfsburg).