Can the newly promoted side start with a win?

Germany: Bundesliga

VOLKSWAGEN ARENA

By Ben Sully

After winning promotion back to the top flight, Werder Bremen start their Bundesliga campaign with an away encounter against Wolfsburg, who will play their first league match under new head coach Niko Kovač.

Oliver Burke. Photo: Werder Bremen

Wolfsburg


Wolfsburg experienced a tumultuous campaign last season, as they spent a large part of the campaign battling against relegation.
Mark van Bommel was replaced by Florian Kohlfeldt, who guided Wolfsburg to survival, but a 12th place finish was not enough for Kohlfeldt to retain his job.

Kovač is the man who has been chosen to lead Die Wölfe into the new season, and the former Bayern Munich boss will be targeting the European places.

Die Wölfe have experienced a transfer window, which has seen Xaver Schlager, Kevin Mbabu and Elvis Rexhbecaj leave on permanent deals, while they have made six signings of their own.

Among those that have joined are Jakub Kaminski and Mattias Svanberg, who have joined from Lech Poznan and Bologna respectively.

Both Kaminski and Svanberg featured in last weekend’s DFB-Pokal tie against Carl Zeiss Jena, which Wolfsburg managed to win 1-0 thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Omar Marmoush, who has returned to the club after spending last season on loan at Stuttgart.


Wolfsburg will now turn their attention to their opening Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen where they have the opportunity to continue their unbeaten home run after avoiding defeat in the final three home games of last season.

Team News


Yannick Gerhardt and Otavio are expected to miss out for the hosts due to knee problems, while Kilian Fischer is a doubt for Saturday’s contest.

Werder Bremen


After being relegated from the Bundesliga in the 2020-21 season, Werder Bremen returned at the first time of asking.

In a competitive promotion battle, Ole Werner’s side managed to beat the likes of Darmstadt and Hamburger SV to second spot.

As they look to beat the drop this season, Bremen have been busy adding to their squad. Oliver Burke and Lee Buchanan were plying their trade in the English Championship last term, but they have made the move to Germany over the summer. Niklas Stark and Amos Pieper have both joined on free transfers, while Jens Stage has arrived from FC Copenhagen.

Burke, Buchanan and Stage all made their competitive debuts last weekend in the first-round of the DFB-Pokal. Roger Schmid and Mitchell Weiser grabbed a goal apiece to help Bremen beat Energie Cottbus 2-1 to progress to the next round.

The visitors will now swap cup football for league action, as they prepare for their 58th Bundesliga campaign, which is the joint-most with Bayern Munich. If they are to begin the season with a victory, they will have to end a run of three consecutive defeats against Wolfsburg.

Team News


Despite scoring in the cup win, Schmid will miss Saturday’s encounter after testing positive for COVID-19. The visitors will also be without the services of Eren Dinkci and Jean-Manuel Mbom, who are missing due to injury issues.

Predicted lineups
Final lineups are posted before start.

Wolfsburg

DFB Pokal
Carl Zeiss Jena – Wolfsburg 0-1
1 K. Casteels (C)
3 S. Bornauw
4 M. Lacroix ↪65
5 M. van de Ven
20 R. Baku
32 M. Svanberg ↪78
39 P. Wimmer
33 O. Marmoush
7 L. Waldschmidt ↪46
23 J. Wind ↪65
10 L. Nmecha
Bench
12 P. Pervan
30 N. Klinger
21 B. Bialek
2 K. Fischer
14 J. Brekalo ↩46
16 J. Kamiński ↩65
29 J. Guilavogui ↩65
38 B. Franjić ↩78
40 K. Paredes
Bremen

DFB Pokal
Cottbus – Bremen 1-2
1 J. Pavlenka
5 A. Pieper
13 M. Veljkovic
32 M. Friedl (C)
26 L. Buchanan ↪78
8 M. Weiser
20 R. Schmid ↪90
36 C. Groß
10 L. Bittencourt ↪70
11 N. Füllkrug
7 M. Ducksch ↪90
Bench
30 M. Zetterer
9 O. Burke ↩90
3 A. Jung ↩78
27 F. Agu
39 F. Cristian Chiarodia
6 J. Stage ↩70
22 N. Schmidt
23 N. Rapp ↩90
28 I. Gruev

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