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Aug 6, 2022 at 2.30pm UK
2 - 2
Werder Bremen
Nmecha (11'), Guilavogui (84')
van de Ven (52'), Nmecha (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Fullkrug (21'), Bittencourt (23')
Weiser (56'), Pieper (58')

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

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

Wolfsburg take on Werder Bremen on Saturday in the opening weekend of the 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign.

The hosts dipped to a bottom-half finish last season, while Werder are returning to Germany's top flight after bouncing back at the first attempt.

Match preview

Having qualified for the Champions League by finishing fourth in the 2020-21 season, it always felt like Wolfsburg would struggle to match those achievements, especially after their former boss Oliver Glasner surprisingly departed for Eintracht Frankfurt last summer.

After a desperately poor start, Mark van Bommel lasted as Glasner's successor until only October, with Florian Kohfeldt steadying the ship thereafter and guiding Die Wolfe away from any real relegation danger despite an extremely poor showing in Europe prior to Christmas.

There is renewed optimism in Wolfsburg ahead of the forthcoming campaign, with former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac a decent coup for the club after the former Croatia international enjoyed two successful years with Monaco in Ligue 1.

Seven players have been signed so far this summer, with midfielder Mattias Svanberg perhaps the pick of the bunch, with five departing permanently in a reasonable amount of squad churn for the new manager to handle.

Omar Marmoush's injury-time winner away to Regionaliga Nordost side Carl Zeiss Jena spared any potential blushes in Kovac's first competitive game in charge last weekend, with his side progressing to the second round of the DFB-Pokal as a result.

The 50-year-old will be hoping for a much improved performance against newly-promoted Werder on Saturday.

After suffering relegation for the first time since 1980, Werder managed to oust Hamburger SV for the second automatic promotion spot to return to the Bundesliga at the first time of asking.

Former Holstein Kiel boss Ole Werner hugely improved results after taking over at Weserstadion in November 2021, with the 34-year-old boasting a 70% win rate from his 20 games in charge so far.

Werner would have been relieved to see his side avoid an upset away to Energie Cottbus in the first round of the DFB-Pokal on Monday, with Tim Heike's late strike setting up a nervy finish after Romano Schmid and debutant Mitchell Weiser had provided the visitors with a two-goal lead.

Having flirted with relegation for several seasons prior to their eventual demotion, Werner's aim for the coming campaign will be clear: avoid an instant return to 2. Bundesliga.

Saturday's trip to Wolfsburg may prove to be a decent indication of how likely that is to happen.

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
  • W

Werder Bremen form (all competitions):
  • W

Team News

Werder will hope to have Max Kruse and captain Maximilian Arnold available again after the key midfielders missed last weekend's narrow cup win due to illness and a back problem respectively.

Should the duo return as expected, forwards Jonas Wind and Luca Waldschmidt could find themselves dropping out of the side as Kovac looks to find the right balance in his early days at the helm.

Svanberg and Patrick Wimmer look likely to make their first Bundesliga starts for the club, but Paulo Otavio and Yannick Gerhardt will miss out due to knee injuries.

Werder, meanwhile, will travel without Dikeni Salifou, Jean Manuel Mbom and Benjamin Goller, with the trio set to spend significant time on the sidelines due to serious injuries.

Weiser, Lee Buchanan and Amos Pieper all made their competitive debuts in Monday's DFB-Pokal victory, and could receive first Bundesliga outings for their new club here.

Former Sheffield United forward Oliver Burke will hope to make an impact from the substitutes' bench, though, with Niclas Fullkrug and Marvin Ducksch firmly established as Werner's first-choice centre-forward pairing.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Baku, Bornauw, Lacroix, Van de Ven; Arnold, Svanberg; Wimmer, Kruse, Marmoush; Nmecha

Werder Bremen possible starting lineup:
Pavlenka; Pieper, Veljkovic, Friedl; Weiser, Schmid, Groß, Bittencourt, Buchanan; Fullkrug, Ducksch

We say: Wolfsburg 1-1 Werder Bremen

We do not expect to see a classic between these sides on Saturday, with Wolfsburg settling into life under a new manager and Werder re-establishing themselves at this level.

As such, a share of the spoils feels likely, with both managers potentially content to stay unbeaten ahead of a long campaign.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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