Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim both aim to get back to winning ways when they meet in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
The Wolves have ended up with a 1-1 draw in their last three matches since coming back from the winter break. On the other hand, Hoffenheim has managed just one win in their past 10 league matches.
After securing points against Mainz 05 and Heidenheim, Wolfsburg hoped to beat FC Koln, who are struggling to avoid relegation, at their home ground last weekend.
But, Niko Kovac’s team went down by a goal from Faride Alidou just before the half-time break, with Kevin Paredes leveling the score shortly after. Despite having 14 shots, the Wolves couldn’t secure a win.
Interestingly, Wolfsburg had only one draw in 16 games before the winter break, but now, they’ve drawn three times consecutively. While they’re not worried about relegation, winning only two of their last 13 matches has hurt their chances for European competition .
Last season, they had a chance to qualify for the Europa League on the final day but lost to Hertha Berlin, missing out on the top seven. A victory on Sunday could push them into the top half of the standings, giving them a chance to improve their situation.
Similarly, Hoffenheim’s performance has dropped over the last three months, earning just seven points from their last 10 games.
Even though Pellegrino Matarazzo saved the team from relegation after joining last February, maintaining the form after winning four of their first five games this season was always going to be a challenge.
Despite losing their first two matches after the break to Bayern Munich and Freiburg, Hoffenheim managed to halt their losing streak against Heidenheim in their last game. Andrej Kramaric scored from a penalty right before half-time.
The game was wide open, and Matarazzo will regret that his team couldn’t turn their seven shots on target into more goals, especially with Heidenheim’s goalkeeper, Kevin Muller, in excellent form. If Hoffenheim can keep up that level of performance, they might just win away this Sunday.
Wolfsburg Bundesliga Form:
Hoffenheim Bundesliga Form:
Wolfsburg will be without Lukas Nmecha and Kevin Wimmer because of knee and ankle injuries, respectively. Tiago Tomas is also likely to be absent due to an elbow problem. Maximilian Arnold and Yannick Gerhardt missed the last game due to sickness and might not play.
Kovac might not change his starting lineup, with Vaclav Cerny and Jonas Wind looking to score after failing last weekend.
Hoffenheim won’t have Mergim Berisha and Marco John, both sidelined with knee injuries, and Dennis Geiger is out with a groin injury. Diadie Samassekou is still participating in the Africa Cup of Nations with Mali.
Florian Grillitsch will miss the match due to suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card against Heidenheim, which might lead Matarazzo to use a back three, including former Liverpool defender Ozan Kabak.
Wolfsburg Possible Starting Lineup:
Mæhle, Lacroix, Jenz, Rogerio;
Cerny, Majer, Paredes;
Hoffenheim Possible Starting Lineup:
Kabak, Brooks, Akpoguma;
Kaderabek, Promel, Stach, Nsoki;
Prediction: Wolfsburg 1-1 Hoffenheim
Predicting a 1-1 draw again might seem straightforward, but these two teams are closely matched.
Hoffenheim has been stopped from scoring only by Bayern Munich this season, while Wolfsburg has failed to score in just three games. Therefore, we anticipate goals from both teams.