First Team

"We always play to win"

This Saturday, the Wolves play host to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Head coach Martin Schmidt during the pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Frankfurt.

On Saturday, January 20th, the waiting will finally be over and VfL Wolfsburg take to the pitch in the Volkswagen Arena for the first time in 2018. In their first outing of the year on their home turf, the Wolves play host to Eintracht Frankfurt (kick-off 15:30 CET). The Green-Whites will need to be prepared for a tough challenge – with a total of 18 away points in the bag, SGE are the second best travelling side in the league behind leaders FC Bayern Munich (22 points). At the obligatory pre-match press conference, VfL coach Martin Schmidt spoke about…

…the personnel situation: I always try to surprise my opponents and not show my hand openly beforehand. The case at the moment is that John Anthony Brooks, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Ignacio Camacho – the players currently in rehabilitation training – are making good progress. However, they will not be available this weekend. Daniel Didavi and Riechedly Bazoer and undertaking reduced training programmes, Josip Brekalo took a blow to the toe but he’ll be back in training today.

…the attacking game: We are working on our attacking play. Against Dortmund, you could see that the game went through different phases: In the first 30 minutes we showed a lot of respect and caution – it got better after that though. In the closing phase we had our chances, we got into the box and set up Divock Origi well. With Renato Steffen and Brekalo out wide, we had an additional, exhilarative element in our game. We need to transport that sort of performance into our home game. I don’t yet want to say how we will start against Frankfurt, but it is good that we are variable.

…new signing Renato Steffen: He’s been with us for just over a week now and the tiredness is beginning to creep in now. You can see that the others are further along. It will be another week or two until he is up to playing a full ninety minutes. Whether he starts on Saturday or is introduced later doesn’t have a role to play in that.

…the competition for places: During the training sessions, it was made clear that we don’t just have Origi up front, but also Nany Landry Dimata and Victor Osimhen. They are not far off and are putting pressure on him. What Divock has in his favour right now is that he scored in autumn. Dimata and Osimhen are doing really well though and I have every fate in the strikers I have available to me. The squad is better balanced now.

…the up-coming opponent: Eintracht Frankfurt are defensively very robust and they’ve only conceded 19 goals so far. They are well-organised and boast a good defensive unit – which is the basis for their game. They also play direct balls up front, looking for their pacy wingers and centre-forward Sebastien Haller. Another strength of theirs is they have players who are quick in switching the play once they’ve won possession. That makes them dangerous.