Venue: Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg
A Champions League ticket is within Wolfsburg’s reach according to coach Felix Magath. Although, it may sound awkward right now for a team at the bottom half of the Bundesliga, it’s not unlikely. I don’t know whether he will achieve this goal, but the fact is that VFL Wolfsburg should start climbing up the ladder any time soon. The match against Hertha is one that they need to win for various reasons. First of all, the opposition is not superior. Secondly, there is an extra-motive: to get revenge for last season’s 5-1 rout. Then they travel to Dortmund next week, which is a tough place to take points. And finally, the fact that they had more days to rest (Hertha played a midweek Cup game at Essen).
Magath demanded more discipline from his foreign players and he asked them to use only German language on the field. He noticed some problems in communication and he decided that drastic measures need to be taken. Whether you agree or not, you have to admit that he has his own way to implement his tactics.
Ahead of Saturday’s match, Wolfsburg’s coach has a full-strength squad to choose from. Striker Srdjan Lakic (8 apps / 0 goals) has recovered from injury and he is likely to join fellow Croat Mario Mandzukic in the front line. Midfielder Hleb is also in contention, but he will probably stay on the bench.
Markus Babbel rotated his squad in the DFB Pokal game against Rot-Weiss Essen. Hertha cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory and now he will bring back his regulars for the match at VW-Arena. The Blue-and-Whites have lost only one of their last 6 games at Wolfsburg (2W-3D-1L). That’s a pretty solid record for the visitors, who are tied with Magath’s side at 10th place with 13 points. However with all due respect for the visitors, I expect them to end the season much lower than Wolfsburg and the odds on the home win are higher than my estimations. The (-0.25) Asian Handicap seem quite safe to me, with half stake returned in case of a draw.
WOLFSBURG: Benaglio - Hasebe, Kyrgiakos, Thoelke, Schafer - Trasch, Josue, Ochs, Dejagah - Lakic, Mandzukic.
HERTHA: Kraft - Lell, Franz, Mijatovic, Kobiashvili - Ottl, Niemeyer, Torun, Raffael, Rukavytsya - Ramos.
21/03/2010 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 1-5 (2)
21/02/2009 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 2-1 (1)
23/02/2008 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 0-0 (X)
13/08/2006 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 0-0 (X)
11/02/2006 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 1-1 (X)
27/11/2004 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 2-3 (2)
01/11/2003 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 3-0 (1)
17/05/2003 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 2-0 (1)
06/04/2002 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 1-3 (2)
09/09/2000 Wolfsburg vs. Hertha: 2-1 (1)