Mar 13, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
SchalkeSchalke 04
Mustafi (32' og.), Weghorst (51'), Baku (58'), Brekalo (64'), Philipp (79')
FT(HT: 1-0)

William (55')

Preview: Wolfsburg vs. Schalke 04 - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Wolfsburg vs. Schalke 04 - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:438698: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and Schalke 04, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolfsburg take on Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the Wolves looking to bounce back after their unbeaten run of nine league matches was ended at Hoffenheim last weekend.

Schalke, meanwhile, drew 0-0 with Mainz 05, which in reality did little to boost either side's survival hopes.

Match preview

Wolfsburg had not even conceded a league goal for 666 minutes of football heading into their game against Hoffenheim, but Christoph Baumgartner ended that run in decisive fashion when his eighth-minute opener powered off the underside of the bar and over Koen Casteels's goal-line.

Wout Weghorst levelled the proceedings 15 minutes later after being played in behind Hoffenheim's crazily high line, with the Dutchman racing through and dinking the ball over Oliver Baumann in trademark fashion for his 15th league goal of the season.

Weghorst squandered an opportunity to provide the Wolves with the lead when played through once more, with Andrej Kramaric punishing his profligacy by obliging with a simple finish at the back post four minutes prior to the half-time interval.

Oliver Glasner's side pushed for an equaliser throughout the second half but ultimately came up short, with Otavio sent off in injury time for a horrendous professional foul on Munas Dabbur, who otherwise would have stroked the ball into an empty net after Casteels had been caught upfield attempting to score from a corner.

With a five-point cushion to Bayer Leverkusen in fifth, Glasner will be reassuring his players that their destiny very much remains in their own hands in terms of qualifying for next season's Champions League, with one defeat in 10 league games far from representing a disaster.

Schalke, on the other hand, have certainly ventured from one disaster to another throughout this campaign, culminating in the club appointing their fifth head coach of the season in Dimitrios Grammozis last week.

The 42-year-old, who previously managed SV Darmstadt 98, has been handed a contract until 2022, so he may already be planning the best course of action in terms returning to the Bundesliga at the first attempt next season.

Indeed, last weekend's 0-0 draw with Mainz leaves them 11 points from safety with only 10 games remaining, with Frederik Ronnow producing an excellent save to deny Jonathan Burkhardt, although Bo Svensson would have been extremely disappointed with his side's lack of accuracy in front of goal.

Grammozis, meanwhile, will be hoping for greater attacking fluency after mustering only two shots across the 90 minutes despite having 49% possession of the ball. It is likely to be a tough ask, though, against a Wolfsburg side who had kept seven consecutive clean sheets prior to their defeat at Hoffenheim.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Schalke 04 Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Schalke 04 form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Wolfsburg will be without Otavio for four matches after his vicious tackle on Dabbur, while Xaver Schlager and Maxence Lacroix are both suspended for one match having picked up their fifth cautions of the season during the defeat.

Glasner was also dealt a huge blow in Hoffenheim by Renato Steffen sustaining a ligament injury in his ankle, with the Swiss winger likely to be out of action until May.

Jerome Roussillon's calf injury leaves the 46-year-old with no obvious solution at left-back, with Jeffrey Bruma perhaps recalled to the starting XI in order to do a job in that position, and the returning Marin Pongracic partnering John Brooks in the heart of the defence.

Schalke, meanwhile, have their own availability crisis, with Omar Mascarell suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against Mainz.

Amine Harit was a late withdrawal from the starting XI in that match due to a muscular problem and could be out until the end of March.

Nabil Bentaleb, Nassim Boujellab, Ralf Fahrmann, Matija Nastasic, Mark Uth, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Steven Skrzybski, Kilian Ludewig, Salif Sane and Goncalo Paciencia are all likely to remain sidelined.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Bruma; Guilavogui, Arnold; Baku, Gerhardt, Mehmedi; Weghorst

Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Ronnow; Becker, Mustafi, Thiaw; William, Serdar, Kolasinac, Calhanoglu; Bozdogan; Hoppe, Raman

We say: Wolfsburg 1-0 Schalke 04

Given their selection issues, we can envisage Wolfsburg finding things tougher than anticipated against Schalke, who did look defensively stronger in Grammozis's first game in charge last weekend.

However, the visitors are fairly depleted, too, and may lack the offensive threat to trouble even a makeshift Wolfsburg defensive unit, with Weghorst potentially proving the difference between the sides.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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last updated article - 2021-03-11 16:08:33:
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Bundesliga Table
CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116
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Serie A Table
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420
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