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Preview: Wolfsburg vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Wolfsburg entertain RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday with the hosts looking to close the gap in the table between the two sides to three points.

The visitors are looking to bounce back from a hugely disappointing 3-1 loss at home to Borussia Dortmund last weekend.


Match preview

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

The Wolves, meanwhile, earned a hugely creditable 2-2 draw at in-form Union Berlin having played with a man disadvantage for almost the entirety of the second half after Maximilian Arnold's professional foul on Taiwo Awoniyi.

Indeed, it was a lively encounter between two of the over-performing sides in the Bundesliga this season, with Renato Steffen's header giving Oliver Glasner's side an early lead, before Sheraldo Becker redeemed his early open goal miss by levelling the proceedings with a powerful strike into the roof of the net.

However, the dynamic of the game changed with Arnold's dismissal, especially after Robert Andrich scored for the fourth home game running from the resulting free kick to provide Union Berlin with a seemingly unassailable one-goal and one-man advantage. Wout Weghorst had other ideas, though, salvaging a point from the penalty spot after Marcus Ingvartsen was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Both league meetings between Wolfsburg and Leipzig ended as draws last season, so with the form his side have displayed so far this season, Glasner may be urging his players to go one better on Saturday.

Marcel Sabitzer in action for RB Leipzig on December 12, 2020© Reuters

With league leaders Bayern Munich losing at Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday evening, Leipzig had the chance to move top of the table when hosting Dortmund.

However, after a disappointingly dour first half, BVB looked to have every inch of their attacking swagger back on the way to a crushing 3-1 victory, with Erling Braut Haaland, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho putting on a clinic of counter-attacking football.

First Haaland raced through before cutting the ball back to Reus, whose delicate touch guided the ball towards Sancho, with the England winger seemingly taking a leaf from his birth city's bus service; after waiting so long to score his first league goal of the season, the 20-year-old made it two goals in two games with a decisive strike into the bottom corner.

Julian Nagelsmann would have been frustrated with his side's failure to convert possession into clear-cut chances, with Dani Olmo's quick feet buying the Spain midfielder half a yard to unfortunately strike the far post, but Haaland capped one of the team moves of the season before bagging his eighth brace of the season to take the game away from Leipzig despite Alexander Sorloth's encouraging consolation goal.

If they are to win their first ever Bundesliga title, Leipzig can surely not afford to lose any ground on Bayern, even with the Bavarians looking extremely vulnerable defensively at present.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form: DWLWLD
Wolfsburg form (all competitions): WLWWLD

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form: DWWDWL
RB Leipzig form (all competitions): WWDWWL


Team News

Kevin Kampl in action for RB Leipzig in the Champions League on December 6, 2017© Reuters

Wolfsburg will be without Arnold for the visit of Leipzig after the midfielder's dismissal against Union Berlin, with Joshua Guilavogui likely to take his place in central midfield.

Marin Pongracic, Jerome Roussillon and Maxence Lacroix are all injury doubts, meanwhile, leaving the Wolves very short of defensive options. Former Chelsea defender Jeffrey Bruma has not featured in Glasner's plans this season, but may be recalled for a rare start.

Leipzig, meanwhile, have serious injury concerns of their own, with long-term absentees Benjamin Henrichs and Konrad Laimer remaining unavailable.

Marcel Sabitzer, Kevin Kampl, Justin Kluivert, Christopher Nkunku, Ibrahima Konate and recent signing Dominik Szoboszlai are all injury doubts, with Nagelsmann perhaps forced into using more defenders than he would like as a solution to his problems.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Baku, Bruma, Brooks, Otavio; Schlager, Guilavogui; Brekalo, Gerhardt, Steffen; Weghorst

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Gulasci; Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg; Mukiele, Adams, Haidara, Angelino; Olmo, Forsberg; Sorloth


SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 1-1 RB Leipzig

With both league meetings ending as a draw last season and the two sides missing several first-team players through injury, both managers could be forgiven for settling for a point apiece on Saturday.

Leipzig in particular are lacking several of their creative midfielders, so may be forced into playing in a more defensive manner than usual.


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


ID:430533:cQx

Who will win Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig?

Wolfsburg
Draw
RB Leipzig
Wolfsburg
15.4%
Draw
7.7%
RB Leipzig
76.9%
13
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern15103246242233
2RB Leipzig1594226121431
3Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen1585230151529
4Borussia DortmundDortmund1591531191228
5Union BerlinUnion Berlin1567231201125
6Wolfsburg156722217525
7Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach156632824424
8Freiburg156542824423
9Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt155822523223
10Stuttgart155643022821
11Augsburg155461723-619
12Hertha Berlin154472325-216
13Werder Bremen153661724-715
14Hoffenheim154382230-815
15Arminia Bielefeld1541101024-1413
16FC Koln152581327-1411
17Schalke 04Schalke1514101239-277
18Mainz 051513111433-196

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