VfL Wolfsburg vs Borussia Dortmund: Preview and Prediction

Borussia Dortmund will aim to extend the recent unbeaten run when they take on VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday.

Matchday 22 of the 2023/24 Bundesliga season will continue on Saturday, with the action getting underway with five simultaneous fixtures. One of those will have VfL Wolfsburg hosting Borussia Dortmund at the Volkswagen Arena.

VfL Wolfsburg came into the 2023/24 campaign after finishing eighth in the Bundesliga last term, narrowly missing out on European qualification. But they have been sub-par thus far this season, bowing out of the Round of 16 in the DFB Pokal while sitting in the 12th spot in the German top-flight standings, winning just one of their most recent nine league games.

On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund would have hoped to compete for the Bundesliga title this season after losing the race on the final matchday last term. But while the Black and Yellows are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, they are 15 points behind table-toppers Bayer Leverkusen. So, a title tilt is out of the question for Edin Terzic’s men.

The reverse fixture saw Borussia Dortmund eke out a narrow 1-0 win over Wolfsburg, with Marco Reus scoring the match-winner. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

VfL Wolfsburg

Niko Kovac has a few pressing roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, the VfL Wolfsburg manager might be bereft of the services of five first-team players.

Rogerio (muscle injury) and Tiago Tomas (elbow) will play no part against Borussia Dortmund this weekend. Meanwhile, Kovac is sweating over the fitness of Sebastian Bornauw (illness), Aster Vranckx (thigh), and Patrick Wimmer (ankle).

Wolfsburg will line up in a 4-4-2 formation against Borussia Dortmund, with Koen Casteels taking his spot between the sticks. Ridle Bake and Joakim Maehle will likely feature as the two full-backs, with Maxence Lacroix and Moritz Jenz pairing up at the heart of the defence.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Mattias Svanberg and Maximilian Arnold in the middle of the park. The duo will look to keep things tight while initiating quick transitions. Lovro Majer and Kevin Paredes should be the two wide midfielders. Finally, Jonas Wind and Kevin Behrens will be the two strikers for the home side.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Casteels; Baku, Lacroix, Jenz, Maehle; Majer, Svanberg, Arnold, Paredes; Behrens, Wind

Borussia Dortmund

Unlike his counterpart in the VfL Wolfsburg dugout, Edin Terzic does not have many concerns to deal with ahead of the trip to the Volkswagen Arena. The Borussia Dortmund manager will be without two first-team players on Saturday.

Felix Nmecha is recovering from a hip complaint, while Karim Adeyemi is recovering from a muscle injury. Otherwise, Terzic has a fully-fit squad at his disposal. Gregor Kobel will take his usual spot in the goal, with Borussia Dortmund lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Wolfsburg.

Julian Ryerson, Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck, and Ian Maatsen will likely form the backline. Maatsen has taken no time to carve out a place for himself in the Dortmund defence, and he will look to create goalscoring opportunities in the final third.

As for the midfield unit, Marcel Sabitzer and Emre Can should pair up in the double pivot. Meanwhile, Julian Brandt will reprise the no. 10 role, with Jadon Sancho and Donyell Malen being the wide attackers. Finally, Niclas Fullkrug will lead the line for Borussia Dortmund against Bayer Leverkusen.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Kobel; Ryerson, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Sabitzer, Can; Malen, Brandt, Sancho; Fullkrug

Key Stats

  • VfL Wolfsburg won the home fixture against Borussia Dortmund last season. But that is their only victory against the Black and Yellows in 17 meetings across all competitions (D1 L15).
  • VfL Wolfsburg are without a win in six Bundesliga matches (D4 L2), the first time this has happened under Niko Kovac.
  • Borussia Dortmund have racked up 13 points in the Bundesliga in 2024, with only Bayer Leverkusen picking up as many. Since the turn of the year, the Black and Yellows have the best attacker (13 scored) and the best defence (one goal conceded) in the Bundesliga.
  • VfL Wolfsburg have lost all four Bundesliga games this season against the current top four.
  • Jonas Wind has accounted for over half of Wolfsburg’s 25 goals this season, scoring nine and providing five assists.

Player to Watch

Ian Maatsen

Embed from Getty Images

While Jadon Sancho invariably hogs the spotlight since returning from Manchester United, Ian Maatsen is not behind. In fact, the Chelsea loanee has made arguably a bigger impact at Borussia Dortmund thus far this term than the English international.

The Dutchman has taken no time to settle down at Borussia Dortmund, taking to the Bundesliga like a fish to water. So, it is hardly surprising that he wants a permanent move to Signal Iduna Park in the summer transfer window. Maatsen can continue making his case with top-notch displays, with the struggling VfL Wolfsburg providing him another opportunity to wreak havoc.


VfL Wolfsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

From struggling to win before the winter break to being the most in-form team in the Bundesliga in 2024, Edin Terzic has overseen a superb turnaround in form and fortunes for Borussia Dortmund. And the visitors will fancy their chances of extending that run against VfL Wolfsburg.

Wins are coming at a premium for the Wolves, who have emerged victorious in only one of their last nine in the Bundesliga. While the hosts will look to give the Black and Yellows a run for their money, they will not have the quality to take anything from the game. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for Borussia Dortmund.

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