Preview: VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund

Wolfsburg will be aiming to return to the winning trail when Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund make the trip to Volkswagen Arena on Tuesday evening.

20 September 2016
Matchday 4
Kick-off 20:00 CEST

Venue: Volkswagen Arena

Referee: D. Siebert
Assistants: L. Koslowski, J. Seidel
Fourth official: N. Grudzinski

Head-to-head summary:

Wolfsburg 40 10 9 21
Dortmund 40 21 9 10

Previous encounter:

Borussia Dortmund 5-1 Wolfsburg 30/04/16 (Bundesliga)

Dortmund goalscorers: S. Kagawa (7′), A. Ramos (9′), M. Reus (59′), P. Aubameyang (77′, 78′)

Wolfsburg goalscorers: A. Schürrle (86′)

Players to watch:

Switzerland international Ricardo Rodríguez has been instrumental in Wolfsburg’s unbeaten start to the Bundesliga campaign, having netted his side’s second goal in an opening-day 2-0 victory over Augsburg, before helping his side secure back-to-back clean sheets.

Midfielder Daniel Didavi netted the first goal in the victory over Augsburg, and will be hoping to add to his tally in midweek.

For Dortmund, experienced midfielder Gonzalo Castro will be hoping to retain his starting place after scoring a brace in Saturday’s convincing 6-0 victory over Darmstadt 98 at Signal Iduna Park.

The Germany international bagged the opening goal at the weekend, before adding a second in latter stages of the contest, while he also chipped in with one assist.

Also deserving of an honourable mention, are American youngster Christian Pulisic and Gabon international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Pulisic has started the new campaign strongly and already has one goal and two assists to his name.

Aubameyang, meanwhile, will be raring to go after being an unused substitute against Darmstadt – he bagged a brace on the opening day of the campaign, but is yet to add to his tally.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Wolves head into Tuesday’s clash off the back of a goalless draw with mid-table Hoffenheim on Saturday, a result that saw them raise their tally for the season to five points.

Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking looked to the positives after Saturday’s goalless draw, saying: “We have seen an intense game, both team wanted to win.

“Our game system was compared to the first two games much better. This was a step forward…”

Striker Mario Gomez, meanwhile, echoed the sentiments of his manager, adding: “We have made as a team a huge step forward today, the guys have really good of chances and we did our best game this season unfortunately we did not score.

“Julian and I had huge opportunities, but the goalkeeper has been sensational.”

Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel hailed a “well-rounded performance” after seeing his side claim a second straight 6-0 victory last time out.

“That was in all areas a really well-rounded [performance],” Tuchel told reporters. “We controlled the game in every phase and therefore won deservedly.

“We had 22 shots on goal, produced many attacks, were aggressive in the last third and in front of the opposition’s goal.”

Team news:

Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking has just one injury absentee to contend with – Josuha Guilavogui is still on the treatment table and will play no part in the fixture – otherwise they have a fully-fit squad for the crunch clash with Dortmund.

Dortmund, on the other hand, have several injury problems, with Erik Durm, Sven Bender, Marco Reus and Neven Subotic all set to miss out.

Andre Schurrle and Mikel Merino are rated doubtful and will undergo late fitness tests. Aubameyang is pushing for a recall to the starting XI after being rested at the weekend.