MX23RW : Monday, January 24 13:15:52| >> :600:185198:185198:
Dec 8, 2021 at 8pm UK
Steffen (89')
Bornauw (17'), Arnold (62'), Roussillon (87'), Steffen (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Yilmaz (11'), David (72'), Gomes (78')
Fonte (18'), Ikone (66'), Mandava (90+3')

Preview: Wolfsburg vs. Lille - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Wolfsburg and Lille, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to confirm their progress to the 2021-22 Champions League knockout stages in first place, Lille travel to Wolfsburg on Wednesday for the final matchday in Group G.

The visitors are one point clear at the top of the rankings ahead of their trip to Wolfsburg, who are bottom of the section but are still in with a chance of a top-two finish.

Match preview

Wolfsburg coach Florian Kohfeldt on November 23, 2021© Reuters

As is the nature of the tightly-fought section in Group G, it is impossible for fourth-placed Wolfsburg to clinch third and a Europa League spot, but a place in the Champions League last-16 is still on the cards.

Florian Kohfeldt's side have not done themselves any favours in recent weeks, though, with their strong start to the season now firmly consigned to history as they struggle for inspiration in all areas of the pitch during the packed winter schedule.

Wolfsburg most recently went down 2-0 to Sevilla in the Champions League courtesy of strikes from Joan Jordan and Rafa Mir, and that result preceded back-to-back Bundesliga defeats to Borussia Dortmund and Mainz - losing 3-0 to the latter on Saturday.

Kohfeldt's side head into Wednesday's crunch match on a four-game winless streak across all tournaments - losing each of their last three - while a total of 10 goals conceded over that stretch represents an alarming downturn from their early-season fortunes.

The Bundesliga side have not lost a home encounter in the Champions League since going down 3-1 to Manchester United in 2009, though, and the chance to make the knockout rounds for only the second time in the club's history ought to stoke the fire within Kohfeldt's under-performing crop.

Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec gives instructions to his players on September 14, 2021© Reuters

Jocelyn Gourvennec finally appears to be finding his feet at Lille, who have suddenly surged to the top of the rankings in Group G after claiming a pair of crucial wins over Sevilla and Red Bull Salzburg in the past two gameweeks.

Jonathan David unsurprisingly made the net ripple in both encounters as the in-form Canadian continues to lead the Dogues revival, and he was brought off the bench to great effect against Troyes at the weekend, netting the equaliser before the Ligue 1 champions went on to win 2-1.

Lille have taken eight points from a possible 15 in the Champions League so far and are guaranteed to finish at least third in the section, so at least another few taxing weeks of juggling European and domestic football will be bestowed upon Gourvennec's troops.

Les Dogues are certainly the ones with the wind in their sails heading into Wednesday's decider, as they have strung together a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions and have found the back of the net in each of their last nine matches - hardly surprising given David's ruthless streak.

Wolfsburg and Lille played out a goalless draw during September's clash at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, but Les Dogues have now failed to win any of their three meetings with the German giants, with their most recent clash at the Volkswagen Arena in the 2014-15 Europa League ending 1-1 thanks to goals from Divock Origi and Kevin De Bruyne.

Wolfsburg Champions League form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Lille Champions League form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Lille form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Lille's Jonathan David celebrates scoring their first goal with Burak Yilmaz on November 23, 2021© Reuters

Wolfsburg forward Lukas Nmecha is suspended for the final matchday due to an accumulation of bookings, so Renato Steffen and Maximilian Philipp can both feel hopeful of earning starts in the final third.

First-choice goalkeeper Koen Casteels is reportedly set to return from coronavirus infection in time for this game, but Admir Mehmedi, William, Xaver Schlager and Bartosz Bialek remain absent.

With the three-man defence not working at all as intended at the weekend, Kohfeldt could elect to drop Josuha Guilavogui from the rearguard to make space for an extra man in the middle or up top in this must-win game.

As for Lille, Jonathan Bamba and Xeka are both suspended for the final matchday, but the latter was hooked at half time in the victory over Troyes anyway.

Renato Sanches should move back into midfield with Xeka absent - allowing David and Burak Yilmaz to resume their partnership up top - while Yusuf Yazici ought to deputise for the suspended Bamba given Timothy Weah's absence through a muscle injury.

Sven Botman has now recovered from a groin injury and could take the place of Tiago Djalo in defence after being granted a rest at the weekend, but the Portuguese will not relinquish his place easily.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Brooks, Lacroix, Otavio; Arnold, Vranckx; Baku, Philipp, Lukebakio; Weghorst

Lille possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Ikone, Andre, Sanches, Yazici; David, Yilmaz

SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 0-2 Lille

Wolfsburg are in disarray at the minute, while Lille are enjoying their best patch of form since Gourvennec's arrival, and the difference in the two sides' form should come to the fore at the Volkswagen Arena.

Les Dogues have lost a couple more big names to suspension but are welcoming back some equally important players at a crucial time, so we expect the French champions to seal progress to the last-16 as Wolfsburg crash out.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Lille's Jonathan David celebrates scoring their first goal with Burak Yilmaz on November 23, 2021
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