Saturday, 5 December 2015 at 16:30 GMT / 16:30 UK / 22:00 IST
Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg face a tough challenge on Saturday evening when they welcome Tom Tuchel's Borussia Dortmund to the Wolkswagen Arena but the fans will be eager to welcome their team back on home turf as the last time Wolfsburg played at home they demolished Werder Bremen 6-0 with an emphatic performance and arguably the best outing of the season. The home side have a very good record in the Bundesliga when playing at home as they're currently a staggering 29 matches unbeaten and their record this season reads 7 games played, 19 points won, 20 goals scored and just 5 goals conceded.
However, they find themselves 7 points behind Dortmund who have an identical record to Wolfsburg with regards to home league games but Wolfsburg's away form is one of the worst in the league. They've scored just 3 goals in 7 league games away from home and won just 1 game which is the primary reason for the distant gap between them and runaway leaders Bayern Munich and their opponents Dortmund. Wolfsburg were poor in their most recent outing against Augsburg and laboured to a 0-0 draw that also brought a suspension for Dante who received a red card late on in the game mainly due to Wolfsburg's frustration at being unable to break down 16th placed Augsburg.
Dortmund ended their worst run of the season after back-to-back defeats to Hamburg and Krasnodar with a convincing 4-1 victory over Stuttgart which also saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang return to his goal scoring ways. It was near enough a year to the day when Dortmund last suffered 2 defeats in succession and Tom Tuchel will be happy with the character shown by his players and gives them confidence heading into a crucial game and one of their toughest on paper this season.
Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have been in sensational form this season and have contributed 24 of the 40 league goals Dortmund have fired in this season. Aubameyang has 17 in the league and is top of the goal scoring charts, 3 ahead of his nearest rival, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich. The Gabon forward will have his work cut out though as mentioned above Wolfsburg are very solid at home but will sorely miss the presence of Dante in central defence and his dismissal is an untimely one.
Wolfsburg's home form is where the confidence will brim from as the proud unbeaten run stretching back 29 league games could give them a psychological edge over their opponents. The last 9 meetings between these 2 sides has seen just 1 clean sheet which suggests that goals could be on show at the Wolkswagen Arena. Wolfsburg have won the last 2 battles and have also won the last 2 at the Wolkswagen Arena over Dortmund so Tom Tuchel's side will be eager to put an end to the minor rot.
Brazilian defender Dante picked up a needless red card against Augsburg which now means he misses the crunch game against Dortmund. It is unlikely that they'll make any other changes apart from bringing in Tim Klose for Dante. Dortmund will also be hoping to name the same starting XI against Stuttgart for the trip to Wolfsburg but Tuchel could bring in the experienced Mats Hummels who was on the bench against Stuttgart with Lars Bender the potential candidate.
Stats: W-7 L-3 D-4
Recent Form - LLWWD
Stats: W-10 L-2 D-2
Recent Form - WWLLW
Wolfsburg (4-4-2) - Benaglio, Trasch, Klose, Naldo, Rodriguez, Guilavogui, Arnold, Schurrle, Vierininha, Kruse, Dost
Dortmund (4-2-3-1) - Burki, Piszczek, Hummels, Papastathopoulos, Schmelzer, Gundogan, Bender, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, Reus, Aubameyang
Injury List/Suspended Players
Wolfsburg - Dante (sus)
Dortmund - Sahin (inj), Leitner (inj), Durm (inj)
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