Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund: Draxler set to return in second-versus-third clash
Wolfsburg are set to welcome back Julian Draxler for Saturday’s crunch second-versus-third clash with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Draxler has missed Wolfsburg’s last three games due a combination of the red card he received at Mainz on November 7 and a subsequent thigh injury.
But Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking has confirmed the Germany playmaker is available as his side look to close the gap on second-placed Dortmund to four points.
“There are no question marks over Julian anymore,” said Hecking. “He should be good to go on Saturday.”
Midfielder Luiz Gustavo could also return for Wolfsburg, although Hecking is unsure whether to risk the Brazilian after a back injury.
Hecking will definitely be denied the services of centre-back Dante, who will miss the game through suspension having seen red against Augsburg last weekend.
That means a reshuffled Wolfsburg defence will have to deal with red-hot Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored an incredible 17 goals in 14 Bundesliga games this season and 25 in all competitions.
Wolfsburg have not lost a home Bundesliga game since a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich in March 2014 – a run of 29 matches – but Dortmund visit having lost just twice in the league all season.
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel does not have any fresh injury concerns to deal with, but his side will have to improve upon their recent record against Wolfsburg if they are to maintain the pressure on Bayern.
Their last four trips to the Volkswagen Arena have yielded just one win and they failed to beat Wolfsburg in three league and cup meetings last season.
Key Opta Stats:
– This is the first league meeting between Wolfsburg and Dortmund when both sides have been in the top three.
– Wolfsburg are unbeaten in 29 home BL games across multiple seasons (W22, D7) – a club record and currently the best run in Europe’s top five leagues.
– Wolfsburg currently sit third in the home league table (19 points, the same as Dortmund), but in stark contrast, are 15th in the away table (6 points).
– The match against Dortmund will see Dieter Hecking manage Wolfsburg for the 100th time in the Bundesliga.