Borussia Dortmund will be up against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga at the Signal Iduna Park on 16th April. While Borussia Dortmund are providing company to Bayern Munich at the top of the table, Wolfsburg will be desperate to avoid being dragged into the relegation battle at the closing stages of the season.
Despite suffering a heavy 4-1 defeat at the hands of RB Leipzig at home, Borussia Dortmund bounced back well when they visited relegation-threatened Stuttgart last weekend. Although he was initially named as a substitute, Julian Brandt ended up making the difference on the night after he replaced Giovanni Reyna, who suffered yet another injury just six minutes into the contest. Reyna’s face, as he was being subbed off, told the story of despair and disappointment as he has been on the sidelines for a long time.
However, Brandt got his first goal within six minutes of arriving on the pitch as he was set up by Erling Haaland who showed extremely intelligent understanding. Brandt then made it a brace midway through the second half and ensured that Borussia Dortmund took all three points on their back home from Stuttgart.
Although the scoreline might suggest otherwise, Borussia Dortmund did not exactly have a comfortable evening. It won’t be wrong to call Stuttgart unlucky since they get nothing from the game despite creating a flurry of chances, especially in the second 45 minutes.
The three points from this clash helped Borussia Dortmund cut the gap to Bayern Munich to just six points. The defending champions and league leaders seem to be within reach and Dortmund will be hoping to capitalize on Bayern’s Champions League disappointment against Villarreal. The Bavarians will take on Augsburg a day later and Dortmund will not leave anything to fate after being given another opportunity in the title race.
Dortmund will have the chance to close the gap to Bayern Munich temporarily once again, which could prove to be pivotal as the two sides take on each other in what is expected to be a heated and title-defining Der Klassiker next Saturday. Borussia Dortmund haven’t won the Bundesliga in 10 years and will be desperate to break that drought.
On the other hand, Wolfsburg picked up only their second win in the last seven Bundesliga matches when they annihilated Arminia Bielefeld 4-0 at the Volkswagen Arena last weekend. Lukas Nmecha, who has recently returned from injury, could prove to be key in Wolfsburg’s bid to find some success in the final stretches of the season. The forward netted his first goal since returning from a broken ankle injury against Bielefeld and then converted it into a brace in the first half.
Maximilian Arnold and Max Kruse got the other two goals for Wolfsburg shortly after halftime to put Arminia Bielefeld out of their misery. Three successive defeats prior to that fixture had several VFL Wolfsburg fans worried and looking over their shoulders in what has been a pretty dismal season. However, the win against Arminia Bielefeld will have restored some confidence in the players who are now separated from the relegation playoff places by eight points. Therefore, theoretically, it will take a catastrophic calamitous end to the season for Wolfsburg to be relegated from this point.
Florian Kohfeldt’s men will be turning their focus to securing a positive finish to the season after what has been a pretty poor campaign in the Bundesliga. VFL Wolfsburg will be looking to head into the summer break on a strong note before switching their focus to return to European football next season.
However, getting a positive result against Borussia Dortmund could prove to be an uphill climb. Wolfsburg have failed to beat Dortmund in their last 13 meetings and they have also been beaten in seven successive matches against them in recent years.
BVB vs WOB, Bundesliga 2021/22
Date: 16th April, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM IST
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
BVB vs WOB FORM GUIDE:
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form:
Borussia Dortmund from (all competitions):
Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:
Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
Borussia Dortmund wins: 31
Wolfsburg wins: 10
BVB vs WOB TEAM NEWS:
Borussia Dortmund Team News: Borussia Dortmund might be looking to start with veteran midfielder Emre Can at right-back as Thomas Meunier (hamstring injury), Felix Passlack (muscle injury), and Mateu Morey (torn ACL) have all been ruled out.
Senior center-back Mats Hummels has also joined the aforementioned players in the treatment room and Marco Rose appears to be short on options in defence. Dan-Axel Zagadou and Marin Pongracic will be in contention to replace Hummels in the center of the defense.
Nico Schulz, Youssoufa Moukoko, Mahmoud Dahoud, Steffen Tigges, and Marcel Schmelzer are also expected to miss out owing to injury concerns. Brandt is expected to start this clash after Giovanni Reyna suffered yet another setback in an injury-ravaged campaign. The American youngster has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Donyell Malen’s participation is also in doubt due to a muscular issue.
Wolfsburg Team News: As far as Wolfsburg are concerned, long-term absentees Paulo Otavio, William, and Mickey van de Ven continue to remain unavailable for the trip to Dortmund. Luca Walsh. Is also endowed following an ankle injury, while Renato Stephen could end up missing once again due to a knock.
Head coach Kohfeldt is unlikely to shuffle his pack and make changes to the starting XI following one of their best performances of the season against Armenia last weekend. Therefore, versatile option Yannick Gerhardt could keep his place at left-back ahead of first choice Jerome Roussilon who made his way back to the bench in the last game.
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Can, Akanji, Zagadou, Guerreiro; Bellingham, Witsel; Hazard, Reus, Brandt; Haaland
Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Lacroix, Bornauw, Brooks; Baku, Schlager, Arnold, Gerhardt; Wind, Kruse; L Nmecha
With a frontline of Haaland-Hazard-Brandt-Reus, Borussia Dortmund will be expecting plenty of goals in this encounter. Dortmund have been in great form heading into this encounter and are expected to have the edge over Wolfsburg because of the historical advantage as well as home support. The presence of Haaland is also expected to give them an added boost in attack.
Compared to their own standards, Wolfsburg have been extremely poor this season. Despite an outstanding result in their previous clash, the gulf in quality between the two sides is pretty big at this point and it won’t be surprising to see the home side power through ahead of the all-important Der Klassiker next weekend.