VfL Wolfsburg kick off their 27th Bundesliga season in less than two months' time when they host promoted club 1. FC Heidenheim at the Volkswagen Arena. If there is a sense of déjà vu, it is because for the seventh consecutive year the Wolves begin a Bundesliga campaign on home soil.
The Green-and-Whites generally do well against newly promoted clubs and top-flight debutants, and have faced such teams on Matchday 1 in three of the last four years. The Wolves have proven to be unforgiving hosts on such occasions, beating 1. FC Köln in 2019/20 and VfL Bochum in 2021/22, as well as drawing with SV Werder Bremen last term. Köln also lost 2-1 in Wolfsburg on Matchday 1 in 2008/09 following their promotion – the same scoreline they would lose by 11 years later.
Bundesliga debut in Wolfsburg
On 19/20 August 2023, Heidenheim will look to buck that trend. The Bundesliga 2 champions' trip to Wolfsburg on Matchday 1 is a milestone occasion as it will be their maiden top-flight appearance. Head coach Frank Schmidt has been through thick and thin with the club: the 49-year-old – a Heidenheim native and a former player at the club – has been at the helm since 2007. As such, he is the longest-serving coach in the Bundesliga, putting him ahead of Freiburg's Christian Streich. Schmidt has faced Wolfsburg three times in the DFB Cup, but has been on the losing side each time.