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

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

Wolfsburg host Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Sunday in a potentially pivotal clash in terms of the race to finish in the Champions League qualification positions.

The Wolves have a six-point advantage over their forthcoming opponents in the table, so a fifth successive league win for Oliver Glasner's side could make that lead unassailable.


Match preview

VfL Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner reacts on January 23, 2021© Reuters

Having won each of their last four league matches without conceding a goal, Wolfsburg are looking like prime candidates for finishing in the top four places this season and sealing qualification for the Champions League for the first time since reaching the quarter-final in the 2015-16 season.

Glasner's side started quietly in last weekend's 2-0 win at Augsburg, but the Wolves always possess a deadly bite with Wout Weghorst in attack. The Netherlands striker scored his fifth goal in six games after a devastating counter-attack, with Renato Steffen finding Yannick Gerhardt between the lines, whose clever through-ball found Weghorst to delicately dink the ball over Rafal Gikiewicz.

Gerhardt was provider once again when firing across a peach of a ball across Augsburg's penalty box for Ridle Baku to tap in from close range, but the winger was adjudged to have been narrowly offside. However, Baku was not to be denied, pouncing on a loose ball at the back post to double his side's lead and wrap up another comfortable victory.

Wolfsburg's defensive unit is likely to be tested much more against Gladbach on Sunday than they have been in recent weeks, but given the form of the two sides, Glasner will be confident of extending his side's winning run.

Borussia Monchengladbach's Florian Neuhaus pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Indeed, having taken 13 points from five games after the winter break - including impressive victories against Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich - Gladbach have since taken just one point from two games against Union Berlin and FC Koln.

Last weekend's 2-1 defeat at home to Koln was a serious sucker punch in terms of Marco Rose's side's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League for a second successive season, but they only had themselves to blame after a tepid performance.

Gladbach's lack of defensive organisation and pressure on the ball was clear from minute one, with slick passing and interplay by Koln helping Elvis Rexhbecaj to far too much space on the edge of the hosts' penalty area, with the attacking midfielder ruthlessly punishing them. Florian Neuhaus's deflected effort levelled the proceedings 13 minutes later, but Koln were surprisingly the stronger side throughout, with Rexhbecaj pouncing on sloppy passing out from the back before Yann Sommer excellently denied Ondrej Duda from making the scoreline even worse.

Rose would certainly have been relieved to witness Elvis leaving the building at full time, but things are unlikely to be any easier at a Wolfsburg side who have not conceded a goal in almost 500 minutes of football in all competitions. However, a positive result will put an entirely different gleam on the season ahead of the forthcoming exciting two-legged Champions League knockout tie against Manchester City.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form: DDWWWW
Wolfsburg form (all competitions): DWWWWW

Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga form: WDWWDL
Borussia Monchengladbach form (all competitions): DWWDWL


Team News

Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Wolfsburg appear to have absolutely no injury or suspension concerns ahead of the pivotal clash against Gladbach.

Glasner is unlikely to make any chances to the current winning formula at the club.

Gladbach, meanwhile, will travel to Wolfsburg without Denis Zakaria due to a knee injury.

Like his counterpart, though, Rose appears to have very few injury issues. Having heavily rotated his side for the defeat to Koln, he is almost certain to select what he considers to be his strongest team in what is a must-not-lose encounter on Sunday.

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

Borussia Monchengladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Kramer, Neuhaus; Plea, Stindl, Hofmann; Thuram


SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

We can see a thrilling encounter unfolding in Wolfsburg on Sunday, with the visitors capable of ending Glasner's side's winning run.

While Wolfsburg's winning run has been impressive, their fixture list has been reasonably gentle, while Gladbach are likely to be incredibly focused here.


Top betting 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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Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria pictured in February 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina105823
JapanJapan104519
United StatesUnited States98825
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia77418
AustraliaAustralia61714
Great BritainGreat Britain46414
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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