After a promising start to the season with two wins in their first two games, the Wolves are now winless in six. Head coach Bruno Labbadia’s side will be out to end that run in Düsseldorf on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET). The last encounter between the two teams came in the 2013/13 season – their only season together in the Bundesliga – when the Wolves won 4-1 away from home before a 1-1 draw in Wolfsburg. The Green-Whites are also unbeaten against Fortuna in the second tier. In four meetings during the 1992/93 and 1994/95 campaigns, VfL won two and drew two.
Düsseldorf want to “show a different side”
The newcomers are currently propping up the table with five points. “Clearly, the team want to show a completely different side,” said coach Friedhelm Funkel in his pre-match press conference. “We want to get back to being bold and causing opponents problems on home turf. Wolfsburg have different ambitions. They started the season well with two wins and have tailed off a bit since then, but they’re a good Bundesliga side.”
Weghorst leading the attack
VfL striker Wout Weghorst is currently among the Green-Whites’ most dangerous players. The summer signing has been directly involved in three of the team’s last four goals (two goals, one assist) having scored against Bayern Munich last weekend in his eighth Bundesliga appearance. The last player who needed fewer than eight league games to reach three goals was Maximilian Arnold, who netted his third VfL goal in his seventh match in April 2013. Of the Bundesliga players on three or more goals this season, Weghorst is one of only four who have converted 100% of their big chances – the others being Robert Lewandowski, Paco Alcacer and Jonas Hofmann.
Positive stats for Labbadia
VfL boss Bruno Labbadia met Fortuna seven times in the Bundesliga as a player, recording two wins, one defeat and four draws as well as scoring one goal. As coach of VfB Stuttgart, Labbadia failed to beat Düsseldorf in two attempts during the 2012/13 season (0-0 at home and 1-3 away). However, during his tenures at Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburger SV, the 52-year-old was unbeaten in four direct battles with Funkel (three wins and one draw), who was in charge of Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha BSC.