Wolfsburg scouting report: Stuck in a rut
The Wolves still boast the best defence in the Bundesliga, but the high-octane approach that was fundamental to their success earlier this season has fallen short against stronger opposition.
Wolfsburg started the campaign with a superb 13-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Europa League, but Oliver Glasner’s side have suffered a dip in form in recent weeks. The Lower Saxony club have slumped to four successive defeats in all competitions, losing 6-1 to RB Leipzig in the cup, 3-0 at Borussia Dortmund, 3-1 to KAA Gent in the Europa League and 2-0 to Bayer Leverkusen.
The Wolves go into Saturday’s game in tenth position, level on 17 points with the ninth-placed Eagles. It is hard to predict which VfL side will turn up at the Commerzbank-Arena this weekend, but Glasner’s charges should on no account be underestimated.
Wolfsburg’s new head coach usually sets his side up in a 3-4-3 formation. Captain Josuha Guilavogui sits in front of the back three and breaks up opponents’ attacks, with Maximilian Arnold orchestrating the Wolves’ own attacking play alongside the Frenchman. Dutch international striker Wout Weghorst, who has netted eight goals in 17 competitive appearances so far this season, leads the line.
It remains to be seen who will start either side of Weghorst on Saturday, with Glasner often rotating between Felix Klaus, Josip Brekalo, Lukas Nmecha, Renato Steffen and Admir Mehmedi on the flanks.
One to watch: Josip Brekalo
Brekalo joined Wolfsburg from Dinamo Zagreb as a promising 18-year-old in 2016. He initially struggled to find his feet and was loaned out to VfB Stuttgart in 2017, but the attacker is now flourishing under Glasner with two goals and three assists in the league so far this term. Blessed with magnificent dribbling skills and blistering pace, Brekalo is a nightmare to defend against and recently helped the Croatia national team qualify for EURO 2020.