First Team

“Something special”

VfL head coach Mark van Bommel and Maximilian Arnold are looking forward to their first Champions League home match of the current campaign.

The UEFA Champions League anthem will ring around the Volkswagen Arena for the first time since April 2016 on Wednesday 29 September, when the Wolves face Sevilla FC in their first home match of this season’s premier club competition (kick-off 21:00 CEST). Ahead of the clash with the Spanish outfit, VfL boss Mark van Bommel and midfield enforcer Maximilian Arnold answered the media’s questions.

Mark van Bommel on…

…the difference between the Wolves and Sevilla: “We can’t compare ourselves with Sevilla. They’ve been playing in Europe for many years. When they’re not playing in the Champions league, they very often end up winning the Europa League. They’re an experienced team in Europe, which is what puts them ahead of us and probably makes them favourites tomorrow in many people’s eyes. But that’s just part and parcel of football and doesn’t mean they have a big advantage here. The outcome of a match always depends on the form on the day and the teams’ game plan.”

…how the game can be won: “We need to score one more goal than our opponents. We’ve analysed Sevilla the way we do before any other game. We have a plan for every opponent.”

…where VfL can improve: “We could score more goals. We create opportunities, but those opportunities have to become clear-cut chances. Our final or penultimate ball is often lacking. I also feel that if we defend more rigorously, we’ll make big steps forward.”

…personnel: “Unfortunately, our long-term absentees – Bartosz Bialek, William, Xaver Schlager and Paulo Otavio – are still out and John Anthony Brooks is suspended. Other than that, everyone’s fit and available.”

…whether Sebastiaan Bornauw could replace Brooks: “Sebastiaan has adapted very quickly to our game and settled into the team. He played very well against Fürth and also settled very quickly after coming on against Lille. There’s a very good chance he’ll play tomorrow.”

Maximilian Arnold on…

…the first Champions League night in Wolfsburg in over five years: “It’s very special to have the Champions League in Wolfsburg again. The last home game in the arena was a pretty good one [a 2-0 quarter-final first-leg win against Real Madrid on 6 April 2016]. That’s why my team-mates and I in particular have very fond memories of our last match here in Wolfsburg.”

…tomorrow’s opponents: “Sevilla have often won the Europa League in recent years. They’re an experienced team in Europe. The task facing us is going to be hard enough. If you look at the quality on the pitch and their European experience, Sevilla are the strongest opponents in our group.”

Photo gallery: Final training session