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Bundesliga | Gameweek 24
Mar 2, 2024 at 5.30pm UK

2 - 3

Maehle (50'), Nmecha (83')
Arnold (3'), Baku (22'), Maehle (52')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Guirassy (14', 54' pen.), Vagnomann (77')
Anton (58'), Karazor (84')

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

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

A Wolfsburg side in desperate need of a win welcome high-flying Stuttgart to the Volkswagen Arena in the Bundesliga on Saturday evening.

The visitors are showing no signs of giving up their place in the top four, while Wolfsburg still have one eye over their shoulder following a long winless run.

Match preview

Wolfsburg's Mattias Svanberg looks dejected on December 5, 2023© Reuters

Niko Kovac saw his Wolfsburg side draw for the sixth time in seven games in 2024 last weekend, as they were held by Eintracht Frankfurt despite taking the lead twice.

A stoppage time equaliser from Omar Marmoush denied Wolfsburg their first victory in over two months, as their run of form extended to just two wins in 17.

After winning four of their first six games, Wolfsburg have only been able to take 13 points from those following 17 games, causing a remarkable slump down the table.

While there is no immediate threat of relegation given the eight-point gap to Koln in 16th, it has been an incredibly underwhelming season for the Wolves.

This is the club's lowest points tally at this stage of the season since 2017-18, when they only survived via the relegation playoff.

Only goal difference currently has Wolfsburg above Union Berlin and Bochum just outside the drop zone, and had it been a stronger Bundesliga lineup this season, Kovac's side could have been in much deeper trouble.

Despite being doubted by many neutrals about their top four credentials, Stuttgart still look strong on their charge for Champions League qualification.

VfB Stuttgart's Atakan Karazor with teammates celebrate after the match on December 6, 2023© Reuters

A seven-point gap has been opened up to fifth-place RB Leipzig, as Stuttgart are actually closer to Bayern Munich above them.

Even though Sebastian Hoeness's side returned from the winter break with a wobble, losing at Bochum and Borussia Monchengladbach, they then won four in a row to move clear in third once again.

Last week's 1-1 draw with Koln was surprising and disappointing given their league position, but after Borussia Dortmund and Leipzig both lost, Stuttgart actually extended their lead to the sides below them.

Bayer Leverkusen's heroics are the only thing stopping Stuttgart being in the title race, as 47 points from 23 games in their best-ever tally in the three-points-per-win era - even more than they had at this stage when they won the league in 2006-07.

Barring a miraculous collapse, Stuttgart will play European football again for the first time in over a decade next season, but to maintain their top four hopes, they must do something about a dreadful run at this venue, where they have lost on 12 of their previous 14 visits.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:

Stuttgart Bundesliga form:

Stuttgart form (all competitions):

Team News

VfL Wolfsburg's Rogerio walks off the pitch after receiving medical attention on December 5, 2023© Reuters

Mattias Svanberg had to pull out of the Wolfsburg side in the warm-up before their clash against Frankfurt last weekend, and Kovac has confirmed that a calf issue will keep him out again.

Rogerio remains on the sidelines with a pulled hamstring, but young striker Tiago Tomas is in contention to return after getting two weeks of training under his belt.

Stuttgart will be able to call upon the hugely influential Deniz Undav, who has won Bundesliga Player of the Month twice already this season, after the Brighton & Hove Albion loanee made a speedy return from a thigh injury.

Goalkeeper Alexander Nubel has also returned ahead of schedule following a hip problem, while Nikolas Nartey should return soon from a knee injury.

Long-term absentees Dan-Axel Zagadou and Samuele Di Benedetto are the other casualties for the visitors, with their respective seasons over due to serious knee and leg injuries.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Baku, Lacroix, Jenz, Maehle; Majer, Gerhardt, Arnold, Paredes; Wind, Behrens

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Stenzel, Anton, Ito, Mittelstadt; Fuhrich, Stiller, Karazor, Millot; Undav, Guirassy

SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 1-2 Stuttgart

Despite a minor slip up last week, Stuttgart are still moving clear of those below them in the race for the Champions League and will be favourites against a side with just two wins in 17.

With two extremely difficult games ahead on paper against third-placed Stuttgart here, and unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen next, Wolfsburg may find themselves ominously closer to the bottom three in a couple of weeks time.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen28244069195076
2Bayern MunichBayern28193680364460
4RB Leipzig28165764333153
5Borussia DortmundDortmund28158555332253
6Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt28101264336742
11Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach28710114954-531
12Werder Bremen2887133644-831
13Union BerlinUnion Berlin2985162545-2029
15VfL BochumVfL Bochum28511123358-2526
16Mainz 05Mainz28411132646-2023
17FC Koln28410142349-2622
18SV Darmstadt 98Darmstadt2828182871-4314

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