MX23RW : Sunday, August 1 08:14:55| >> :600:1338159:1338159:
Mar 13, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
SchalkeSchalke 04
Mustafi (32' og.), Weghorst (51'), Baku (58'), Brekalo (64'), Philipp (79')
FT(HT: 1-0)

William (55')

Preview: Wolfsburg vs. Schalke 04 - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and Schalke 04, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolfsburg take on Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the Wolves looking to bounce back after their unbeaten run of nine league matches was ended at Hoffenheim last weekend.

Schalke, meanwhile, drew 0-0 with Mainz 05, which in reality did little to boost either side's survival hopes.

Match preview

Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Wolfsburg had not even conceded a league goal for 666 minutes of football heading into their game against Hoffenheim, but Christoph Baumgartner ended that run in decisive fashion when his eighth-minute opener powered off the underside of the bar and over Koen Casteels's goal-line.

Wout Weghorst levelled the proceedings 15 minutes later after being played in behind Hoffenheim's crazily high line, with the Dutchman racing through and dinking the ball over Oliver Baumann in trademark fashion for his 15th league goal of the season.

Weghorst squandered an opportunity to provide the Wolves with the lead when played through once more, with Andrej Kramaric punishing his profligacy by obliging with a simple finish at the back post four minutes prior to the half-time interval.

Oliver Glasner's side pushed for an equaliser throughout the second half but ultimately came up short, with Otavio sent off in injury time for a horrendous professional foul on Munas Dabbur, who otherwise would have stroked the ball into an empty net after Casteels had been caught upfield attempting to score from a corner.

With a five-point cushion to Bayer Leverkusen in fifth, Glasner will be reassuring his players that their destiny very much remains in their own hands in terms of qualifying for next season's Champions League, with one defeat in 10 league games far from representing a disaster.

Schalke 04's Amine Harit celebrates scoring their fourth goal on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Schalke, on the other hand, have certainly ventured from one disaster to another throughout this campaign, culminating in the club appointing their fifth head coach of the season in Dimitrios Grammozis last week.

The 42-year-old, who previously managed SV Darmstadt 98, has been handed a contract until 2022, so he may already be planning the best course of action in terms returning to the Bundesliga at the first attempt next season.

Indeed, last weekend's 0-0 draw with Mainz leaves them 11 points from safety with only 10 games remaining, with Frederik Ronnow producing an excellent save to deny Jonathan Burkhardt, although Bo Svensson would have been extremely disappointed with his side's lack of accuracy in front of goal.

Grammozis, meanwhile, will be hoping for greater attacking fluency after mustering only two shots across the 90 minutes despite having 49% possession of the ball. It is likely to be a tough ask, though, against a Wolfsburg side who had kept seven consecutive clean sheets prior to their defeat at Hoffenheim.

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

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

Schalke 04 Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Schalke 04 form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Wolfsburg's Renato Steffen celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Union Berlin on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Wolfsburg will be without Otavio for four matches after his vicious tackle on Dabbur, while Xaver Schlager and Maxence Lacroix are both suspended for one match having picked up their fifth cautions of the season during the defeat.

Glasner was also dealt a huge blow in Hoffenheim by Renato Steffen sustaining a ligament injury in his ankle, with the Swiss winger likely to be out of action until May.

Jerome Roussillon's calf injury leaves the 46-year-old with no obvious solution at left-back, with Jeffrey Bruma perhaps recalled to the starting XI in order to do a job in that position, and the returning Marin Pongracic partnering John Brooks in the heart of the defence.

Schalke, meanwhile, have their own availability crisis, with Omar Mascarell suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against Mainz.

Amine Harit was a late withdrawal from the starting XI in that match due to a muscular problem and could be out until the end of March.

Nabil Bentaleb, Nassim Boujellab, Ralf Fahrmann, Matija Nastasic, Mark Uth, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Steven Skrzybski, Kilian Ludewig, Salif Sane and Goncalo Paciencia are all likely to remain sidelined.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Bruma; Guilavogui, Arnold; Baku, Gerhardt, Mehmedi; Weghorst

Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Becker, Mustafi, Thiaw; William, Serdar, Kolasinac, Calhanoglu; Bozdogan; Hoppe, Raman

SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 1-0 Schalke 04

Given their selection issues, we can envisage Wolfsburg finding things tougher than anticipated against Schalke, who did look defensively stronger in Grammozis's first game in charge last weekend.

However, the visitors are fairly depleted, too, and may lack the offensive threat to trouble even a makeshift Wolfsburg defensive unit, with Weghorst potentially proving the difference between the sides.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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Leroy Sane celebrates scoring for Bayern Munich against Lazio in the Champions League on February 23, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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Scottish Premiership
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Pre-Season Friendlies
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX

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