Wolfsburg heads to Der Alten Forsterei on the edge of Berlin to play Union Berlin in the Bundesliga this Saturday.
Union’s coach, Nenad Bjelica, is back after a three-game suspension, with his team just above the relegation zone.
Union had a strong end to 2023 under Bjelica but has been up and down since Bundesliga restarted.
Their performance improved under Bjelica, moving them out of last place after a series of losses.
Yet, they’ve only managed to get five points from their first five games in 2024, with their single win against Darmstadt at home.
They scored another goal during a 1-1 draw with Mainz in a game that was delayed and played recently.
This was their second postponed match this year, after their game against Bayern Munich was also delayed. This means they’ve played most of their recent games away from home.
Playing at home has been crucial for Union, where they’ve won three times in a row and only let in one goal. They hope to use this home advantage against Wolfsburg.
Union has struggled away from home, earning only five points out of a possible 33, which is why they are still close to the relegation zone.
Wolfsburg hasn’t won at Union Berlin since Union was promoted in 2019.
In five visits, Wolfsburg has always conceded two goals, drawing two and losing three. Another loss or draw would extend their winless streak to six games, both at this venue and in the Bundesliga.
Wolfsburg is in a strange situation, having drawn all their four games in 2024.
They drew three games 1-1 against Mainz, Heidenheim, and Koln, followed by a 2-2 draw against Hoffenheim, where they had to come back twice.
Given this form, Wolfsburg sits in mid-table, equally distant from European places and the relegation zone.
Union Berlin Bundesliga Form: W D L W L D
Wolfsburg Bundesliga Form: W L D D D D
Union’s midfield is stronger with Aissa Laidouni and Alex Kral back, and Yorbe Vertessen joining from PSV Eindhoven.
Laidouni started his first game after coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations, while Kral, Fredrik Ronnow, and Diogo Leite have recovered from illness.
Jerome Roussillon is back, and Josip Juranovic might return soon.
Christopher Trimmel is suspended, as are Kevin Vogt and Janik Haberer after getting booked against Mainz.
Kevin Behrens might lead Wolfsburg’s attack against his former team, after assisting on his debut.
Lovro Majer, who scored twice last game, might start, especially since Aster Vranckx is injured. Patrick Wimmer and Lukas Nmecha are training again but aren’t ready to play.
Maxence Lacroix and Sebastiaan Bornauw might play if they pass fitness tests, boosting Wolfsburg’s defense.
Koen Casteels is out with a bruised back, so 36-year-old Pavao Pervan will likely be the goalkeeper.
Possible Starting Lineups
Knoche, Doekhi, Diogo Leite;
Schafer, Kral, Laidouni, Vertessen, Gosens;
Maehle, Bornauw, Lacroix, Rogerio;
Cerny, Gerhardt, Arnold, Majer;
Our Prediction: Union Berlin 2-1 Wolfsburg
Union relies heavily on their home performance and enters this game slightly favored to win their fourth home game in a row.
It should be a tight match, but Wolfsburg drawing five times in a row would be surprising. Given their poor record at this stadium, Union might edge out a win.