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Preview: Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolfsburg take on Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday in a potentially pivotal clash in terms of both teams' aims of finishing inside the Champions League qualification positions.

The Wolves are five points ahead of BVB with only four games of the season remaining, with Eintracht Frankfurt also sandwiched between the two sides.


Match preview

Wolfsburg's Wout Weghorst celebrates scoring their second goal on January 9, 2021© Reuters

After suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, Wednesday's trip to Stuttgart represented a hugely significant fixture for Wolfsburg in terms of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Failure to win would have meant that Dortmund would have had the opportunity to leapfrog Wolfsburg in the table by beating them on Saturday, but Oliver Glasner's side held their nerve with an impressive 3-1 victory.

Matters could have ensued very differently, though, had Stuttgart forward Sasa Kalajdzic placed the ball either side of Koen Casteels rather than straight at the goalkeeper having been played clean through on goal less than nine minutes into the match, with Xaver Schlager punishing his profligacy by striking from distance to break the deadlock four minutes later.

Wolfsburg were let off the hook once again when Philipp Forster missed from the penalty spot after John Brooks's handball, before Wout Weghorst converted Josip Brekalo's cross with a diving header to score his 20th goal of the season and double the visitors' lead heading into the half-time interval.

Yannick Gerhardt sealed victory with a curling effort after the break, with Stuttgart's frustrations summed up by Robert Massimo's strike hitting the post.

Gonzalo Castro's deflected effort in injury-time proved scant consolation for Pellegrino Matarazzo's side, with Glasner hoping for a more secure defensive performance against Dortmund on Saturday alongside retaining their ruthlessness in attack.

Erling Braut Haaland in action for Borussia Dortmund on April 10, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, with Wolfsburg conceding eight goals in their last three matches, Dortmund will be licking their lips after Edin Terzic's side produced a superb performance to dispatch Union Berlin 2-0 on Wednesday.

Marcus Ingvartsen almost opened the scoring for the visitors but saw his brilliant effort from distance smash off the bar, before Marco Reus dragged his shot wide from close range.

The 31-year-old subsequently earned his side a penalty after Andreas Luthe was adjudged to have taken the forward out, but the goalkeeper made amends by saving Erling Braut Haaland's penalty. However, Reus was first on the scene to scramble the ball home.

Marwin Hitz produced a superb save to tip Max Kruse's free-kick onto the post, with Raphael Guerreiro finally putting the game to bed by dinking the ball over the onrushing Luthe in the 88th minute after a scintillating counter-attack led by Haaland.

Dortmund certainly appear to have their mojo back having won three successive league games, but Terzic will be under no illusions that a win against Wolfsburg is realistically required for them to save their season with Champions League qualification via a top-four finish.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W


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Team News

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho pictured on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Wolfsburg remain without Renato Steffen due to ankle ligament damage, with the creative winger hoping to return for his side's next match against Union Berlin in two weeks' time.

Kevin Mbabu is also a doubt once again, this time due to a foot injury, with Ridle Baku likely to continue to deputise at right-back.

Glasner will have Otavio available again, though, after the left-back served his one-match suspension against Stuttgart.

Otavio is likely to replace Jerome Roussillon, with Maxence Lacroix also expected to return alongside Brooks in defence after receiving a rare rest in midweek.

Dortmund, meanwhile, have been dealt a severe blow after Mats Hummels received a suspension for picking up his fifth booking of the season against Union Berlin in midweek.

With Dan-Axel Zagadou out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury, Emre Can may be forced to drop back into defence, with Mahmoud Dahoud and Thomas Delaney potentially coming in to bolster the midfield alongside Jude Bellingham.

That may mean Giovanni Reyna and Thorgan Hazard both making way, with Jadon Sancho impressing from the bench upon his return from injury on Wednesday and likely to start.

Mateu Morey should displace Lukasz Piszczek at right-back after receiving a rest against Union Berlin, with Youssoufa Moukoko, Roman Burki and Marcel Schmelzer all ruled out of the trip.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Otavio; Schlager, Arnold; Brekalo, Philipp, Gerhardt; Weghorst

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Hitz; Morey, Akanji, Can, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Delaney, Dahoud; Sancho, Haaland, Reus


SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

The absence of Hummels could prove a major blow for Dortmund, but we can envisage them edging an entertaining affair to keep their top-four hopes alive.

Terzic's side look to have rediscovered their rhythm in attack, with the return of Sancho only likely to improve that further.

Dortmund have more big-game experience than the Wolves, who have displayed more defensive vulnerabilities in recent weeks.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Wolfsburg vs Dortmund

Wolfsburg
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Draw
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Borussia Dortmund
66.0%
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Erling Braut Haaland in action for Borussia Dortmund on April 10, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern31225486404671
2RB Leipzig31197555253064
3Wolfsburg31169654322257
4Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt311511562471556
5Borussia DortmundDortmund311741066422455
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen31148951351650
7Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach311210959461346
8Union BerlinUnion Berlin31111374738946
9Freiburg31118124546-141
10Stuttgart31109125251139
11Hoffenheim3199134550-536
12Mainz 053198143450-1635
13Augsburg3196163147-1633
14Hertha Berlin3079143849-1130
15Werder Bremen3179153451-1730
16Arminia Bielefeld3186172351-2830
17FC Koln3178163256-2429
RSchalke 04Schalke3027211876-5813

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