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Preview: Werder Bremen vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Werder Bremen vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg, including team news and predicted lineups.

Werder Bremen's battle to escape the Bundesliga relegation zone will continue on Sunday afternoon when they welcome top-six hopefuls Wolfsburg to Weserstadion.

Florian Kohfeldt's side lost 3-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday to remain in 17th position in the table, while Wolfsburg occupy sixth, having gathered 42 points from their 29 matches this season.

Match preview

Bremen have not operated outside of the Bundesliga since the 1980-81 campaign, but the team are certainly in a battle to secure their top-flight status this season.

Indeed, a record of six wins, seven draws and 16 defeats from 29 matches has left them in 17th position in the table, three points off the safety of 15th spot with nine games left.

Bremen's position is disappointing but far from terminal, and they have shown signs of life since returning to action in the middle of May, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Indeed, Die Werderaner picked up seven points from their three matches against Freiburg, Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke 04 between May 23 and May 30.

Kohfeldt's side could not build on their positive run at home to Frankfurt on Wednesday, though, as they suffered a 3-0 defeat to leave themselves firmly in trouble ahead of Sunday's clash.

Wolfsburg actually also lost to Frankfurt in their last match, suffering a 2-1 defeat to the strugglers last weekend, and their form has been mixed since returning to action in the middle of May.

Indeed, Die Wolfe have beaten Augsburg and Bayer Leverkusen in two of their last four matches but have lost to Borussia Dortmund and Frankfurt to keep the race for sixth wide open.

Wolfsburg are currently in charge of the final Europa League position, although they are only ahead of seventh-placed Hoffenheim on goal difference, while Freiburg and Hertha Berlin will also believe that they are both firmly in the argument for sixth position at this stage of the campaign.

There is no question that Oliver Glasner's side will be eyeing all three points this weekend, but they have incredibly not beaten Bremen in the Bundesliga since November 2015, losing six of the last eight top-flight meetings between the two teams.

Bremen Bundesliga form: DLWDWL

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form: DDWLWL
Wolfsburg form (all competitions): DLWLWL

Team News

Bremen are still missing a number of first-team players, with Omer Toprak, Kevin Mohwald, Niclas Fullkrug, Claudio Pizarro and Nuri Sahin all expected to miss out through injury this weekend.

Leonardo Bittencourt and Milot Rashica were both named on the bench against Frankfurt on Wednesday but should return here, while the same could also be said for American youngster Joshua Sargent.

Sweden international Ludwig Augustinsson is expected to shake off a muscular problem to start, while Milos Veljkovic is available after suspension and is also in line to return.

As for Wolfsburg, William, Ignacio Camacho and Paulo Otavio remain on the treatment table, while Renato Steffen is unavailable through suspension.

Yannick Gerhardt could feature despite a facial injury, while Amir Mehmedi and Joshua Guilavogui are both pushing to be involved, having both overcome recent injuries.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the away side's XI this weekend, with Josip Brekalo again expected to support Wout Weghorst in the final third of the field.

Bremen possible starting lineup:
Pavlenka; Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic, Moisander, Augustinsson; M. Eggestein, Vogt, Klaassen; Bittencourt, Sargent, Rashica

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Gerhardt; Schlager, Arnold; Brekalo, Mehmedi, Victor; Weghorst

We say: Werder Bremen 1-1 Wolfsburg

As mentioned above, Bremen have dominated the recent meetings between the two sides, and the strugglers have shown some decent form since returning to action last month. Wolfsburg will feel that they have better quality across the pitch, but we are struggling to separate the two teams in this one.

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