Wolfsburg will be looking to build on their victory over Mälmo in the Europa League on Thursday when they welcome Mainz to the Volkswagen Arena on Sunday. The Niedersachsen side are unbeaten in their last three Bundesliga matches after winning 3-2 away at Hoffenheim on their last league outing, but they have won just once on home turf in their last seven matches.
Mainz have shown to be better on the road than at home this season and a victory against Die Wölfe would be their fourth away from home in their last six in the Bundesliga. They stopped their Opel Arena rot last weekend as they Schalke to a goalless draw, and they know their five point gap from Fortuna Düsseldorf, who occupy the relegation play-off position, is by no means enough. Away from the carnival parades and party atmosphere for the city's annual Fastnacht celebrations, Mainz will want to add to the festive mood this weekend.
What They Said
Wolfsburg boss Oliver Glasner: "In [Adam] Szalai and [Jean-Philippe] Mateta, they also have a forward line who can hold the ball up very well. Then you have [Robin] Quaison and [Levin] Öztunali, who provide plenty of pace from deeper positions. They’ve clearly improved in recent games. I’m expecting them to keep the space very tight and wait for opportunities to transition.
"With two of our full-backs ruled out and the suspensions of Pongracic and Arnold - two central defensive players - we have to replace four players in defence. We need good solutions"
Mainz boss Achim Beierlorzer: "We have a job to do. It’s so important that we take every chance we can to pick up points. In Wolfsburg, we’ve got an opportunity to add to the four points we’ve picked up in our last two games.
"We’re looking at where Wolfsburg are now; within touching distance of qualifying for Europe. But we know we’ve a good chance to take something from the game, if we stick together and give it our all. We’re going to push them to their limits, with presence and power.”
Wolfsburg are in the midst of a mini crisis with several players unavailable for Sunday's test. Jerome Rousillon is unavailable after a scan this week, William is injured, while Marin Pongracic and Maximilian Arnold are both suspended. It is looking good for Josuha Guilavogui though, who is in contention.
Jeremiah St Juste is the only certain doubt for Mainz with the Dutchman still yet to fully recover from a muscle problem.
One To Watch
Wout Weghorst has been on fire for Die Wölfe this season, firing in a hat trick in last weekend's victory in Sinsheim to take his tally to 14 goals in all competitions. If the 27-year-old Dutch native is at his best, Mainz will have a job on their hands to keep him at bay.
Where To Watch
Vfl Wolfsburg v Mainz 05 is available to watch in the UK on BT Sport 1 at 5pm.