Keeping faith in their strengths

Towards the end of September, various media outlets reported that Niko Kovac and VfL Wolfsburg were about to part ways. One win from the opening seven matches was not enough for the club on the Mittelland Canal. But the Wolves have not lost a single one of their seven games since – with Niko Kovac still on the sidelines and paying back the trust shown in him. With their fortunes revived, VfL Wolfsburg will be full of confidence ahead of their visit to Kraichgau on Saturday (15:30 CET / Live Ticker at

From disaster to delight: Wolfsburg are one of the teams of the moment right now, having taken 15 points from their past seven matches a tally only bettered by Leipzig and Bayern.  Their defensive record of seven goals conceded in seven matches is also the best in the league.

The Wolves' defence has proven to be the jewel in their crown, with former Hoffenheim goalkeeper Koen Casteels in the VfL goal having now gone almost 285 minutes without conceding a goal. This new-found solidity at the back and their versatile attack – 11 different players have already got their names on the scoresheet this season – have seen Wolfsburg climb up to eighth place in the table.

But the Wolves will be without their most reliable goalscorer on Saturday. Lukas Nmecha sustained an injury in the 2-0 victory against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday and has been ruled out of both the clash with TSG and the World Cup. The baton will be passed to his brother Felix, who has been increasingly hitting his stride in recent weeks and has been involved in four goals in the past four matches.

Though they have won only once in recent weeks, TSG can nonetheless look ahead to the game with optimism: Hoffenheim have won their last three meetings with Wolfsburg, with Andrej Kramarić scoring in all three matches; Pavel Kadeřábek had a hand in five of the eight goals in those matches.

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