21/04/2024

Preview: Wolfsburg vs. Freiburg - prediction, team news

Hace 4 meses

Preview: Wolfsburg vs. Freiburg - prediction, team news

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

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

Wolfsburg will be aiming to bounce back from defeat when they host Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The visitors, meanwhile, returned to victorious ways with an impressive win away to Mainz 05 last weekend.


Match preview

VfL Wolfsburg's Maxence Lacroix celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Moritz Jenz and Joakim Maehle on October 21, 2023© Reuters

Wolfsburg's away-day woes continued with a 3-1 defeat to VFL Bochum last weekend, making it six losses in a row on their travels in the Bundesliga. Patrick Osterhage and Bernardo both struck for the hosts within the opening 40 minutes, but Mattias Svanberg pulled one back just before half time to provide the Wolves with hope.

However, Cristopher Antwi-Adjei settled the encounter late on. It was an open match which could have gone either way, but Niko Kovac will be hugely concerned with his side's defensive record in recent weeks. They have now conceded 13 goals across their last four away league games since the start of October.

Kovac's side suffered another disappointing result away from home in midweek when they were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal by Borussia Monchengladbach. Penalties appeared to be looming after a goalless normal period, but Manu Kone struck in the last minute of extra-time to send Die Fohlen through to the quarter-finals at their opponents' expense.

With no European football after collapsing against already-relegated Hertha Berlin on the final day of last season, Kovac and his players can now fully focus on resurrecting their league form. The former Bayern Munich man will almost certainly be feeling plenty of pressure, but their home form has been decent at least, meaning that they will be confident of beating Freiburg on Saturday.

Freiburg coach Christian Streich on November 9, 2023© Reuters

However, the visitors secured an impressive 1-0 win away to Mainz last Sunday, with Michael Gregoritsch continuing his return to form by scoring the crucial goal on the hour mark.

In truth, Mainz were probably the better team having posted 20 shots, 61% possession and 14 corners across the course of the match, but Christian Streich's side rolled back the years to put in a disciplined defensive performance. It was their first league win since late October, moving them up to eighth in the process, just two points behind sixth-placed Hoffenheim.

Having secured their progression to the knockout stages of the Europa League for the second successive season with a game to spare, Streich will be determined to see his side compete for qualifying for Europe's secondary competition once again. The 58-year-old may feel that his side's tough fixtures are out of the way for now, with Freiburg not facing any of the teams currently in the top five positions in the table until February.

As such, they will sense an opportunity to build momentum against Wolfsburg on Saturday, especially as falling to defeat would allow their opponents to leapfrog them in the table. Freiburg would also be vulnerable to falling outside of the top half of the table should they fail to secure successive victories.

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


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


Freiburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W


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


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Team News

VfL Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac on December 5, 2023© Reuters

Wolfsburg will remain without Lukas Nmecha, Patrick Wimmer and Amine Sarr due to injury, while Sebastiaan Bornauw is a major doubt due to a hamstring issue.

However, Joachim Maehle and club captain Maximilian Arnold returned from recent issues to start in the galling defeat to Gladbach in midweek. The likes of Vaclav Cerny, Lovro Majer and Mattias Svanberg may return to the starting XI after only appearing from the bench on Tuesday.

Freiburg, meanwhile, will travel without Christian Gunter, Yannik Keitel, Lukas Kubler, Daniel Kofi-Kyereh and Maximilian Philipp due to ongoing injuries. Kenneth Schmidt is also unlikely to feature due to an abdominal issue.

Streich's only change from the narrow win against Mainz last time out may be restoring Vincenzo Grifo to the left flank, with Noah Weisshaupt making way for him should that be the case. Gregoritsch will almost certainly continue in attack after bagging four goals across the last two games, closely supported by Merlin Rohl.


Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Lacroix, Jenz, Zesiger; Maehle, Svanberg, Vranckx, Rogerio; Cerny, Wind, Majer

Freiburg possible starting lineup:
Atubolu; Sildillia, Ginter, Lienhart, Makengo; Doan, Eggestein, Hofler, Grifo; Rohl; Gregoritsch


SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 1-2 Freiburg

Wolfsburg's season appears to have hit a major bump in the road in recent weeks, with Kovac's side seemingly unable to defend to any decent standard. Although their home form has been much stronger than their away record, we believe that they could be vulnerable to another defeat this weekend.

Indeed, Freiburg enjoyed a free midweek having already been eliminated from the DFB-Pokal, so they could be fresher as they look to gain back-to-back victories away from home.



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


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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