Wolfsburg vs. Augsburg: Probable line-ups and match stats
Liverpool loanee Divock Origi goes in search of his first goal in over two months when relegation-threatened Wolfsburg host faltering Augsburg on Friday (kick-off: 08:30 PM CEST/ 06:30 PM GMT/ 02:30 PM EST).
Wolfsburg beat Freiburg on Matchday 29 to end an eight-match winless run, and move two points clear of Mainz in the relegation play-off spot. Defeat to Augsburg, coupled with a Mainz win over Freiburg, however, would see the Wolves slip into the bottom three. With Belgian forward Landry Dimata nursing a knock, Origi is pushing for a recall after being deployed as a second-half substitute in Wolfsburg’s last three outings. In defence, USA international John Brooks is not yet ready to make his first start since December due to a lack of fitness following his injury.
Winless in three and with only one win in their last eight, Augsburg are not safe yet. Manuel Baum’s men started brightly against Bayern Munich last weekend and even took the lead, but wilted once the champions got the equaliser, eventually succumbing to a 4-1 defeat that leaves them only seven points clear of Wolfsburg with five rounds of fixtures to go. The good news is: Alfred Finnbogason – Augsburg’s joint-leading scorer this term on 11 goals – finally appears to be free of the calf injury that has kept him sidelined for the last 11 matches, but may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Watch: All of Philipp Max’s assists this season!
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Verhaegh (c), Knoche, Jaeckel, William – Camacho, Arnold – Brekalo, Didavi, Malli – Origi
Absentees: Brooks (fitness), Guilavogui (muscular problems), Jung (calf), Itter (thigh), Uduokhai (kidney), Tisserand (thigh), Gerhardt (ankle), Blaszczykowski (back), Dimata (knock), Mehmedi (foot)
Coach: Bruno Labbadia
Augsburg: Hitz – Schmid, Gouweleeuw, Hinteregger, Max – Khedira, Baier (c) – Koo, Gregoritsch, Caiuby – Cordova
Absentees: Opare (not considered), Framberger (ankle), Jakob (knee), Danso (ankle)
Coach: Manuel Baum
- Neither Wolfsburg nor Augsburg have ever been relegated from the Bundesliga. The Wolves were promoted in 1997, with Augsburg joining them in the top flight in 2011.
- Daniel Didavi is Wolfsburg’s most potent attacking force this season, with his brace against Freiburg last Saturday lifting his tally to eight goals alongside his five assists.
- Two points above the relegation places, Bruno Labbadia’s side have nonetheless kept a clean sheet for two games. One more would be a club record.
- Augsburg have won on their last two visits to the Volkswagen Arena with an aggregate score of 4-1. Their last defeat in Wolfsburg came back in October 2014.
- Philipp Max‘s 12 assists in the Bundesliga this season are a league high. Bayern pair James Rodriguez and Joshua Kimmich are his nearest challengers with 10 apiece.
- Augsburg quartet Caiuby, Ja-Cheol Koo, Daniel Baier and Marwin Hitz used to play for Wolfsburg. Wolves vice-captain Paul Verhaegh made the opposite journey last summer.