VfL Wolfsburg: Dissatisfied with draws

Each of VfL Wolfsburg's last three matches have ended in 1-1 draws. The Lower Saxony outfit must now return to winning ways in their match against TSG Hoffenheim (Sunday at 15:30 CET / Live Ticker at in order to stay in with a minimal chance of finishing in the European places. The VfL attack in particular has looked rather toothless this season. Forward Kevin Behrens, 33, has been signed from Union Berlin during the week and tasked with improving the goal ratio.

The year 2024 has not yet brought about the hoped-for upturn in VfL Wolfsburg's fortunes. Niko Kovac's team might still be unbeaten this calendar year, but three draws have not really contributed to improving the mood and confidence at the club – especially considering they came against opponents the club will have internally likely regarded as entirely beatable. The only constant in the clashes with Mainz 05, 1. FC Heidenheim and 1. FC Köln has been the scoreline, with the Wolves drawing each match 1-1.

VfL now want to remedy the attacking sluggishness that was on show in those games in their remaining matches this term. By hard work in training and via transfers too. In midweek, the announcement was made that Wolfsburg had lured Kevin Behrens, who has matured into an international this term, to Lower Saxony from league rivals Union Berlin. The 32-year-old has scored four times in 18 appearances this season, but the goals have dropped off of late: Behrens scored three of his four goals on Matchday 1 (4-1 vs. Mainz) and the fourth on Matchday 2 (4-1 against Darmstadt). Nonetheless, the first half-season was a total success for a player who spent many years in the Regionalliga and second tier: he made five Champions League appearances and played three minutes for Germany (in the 2-2 draw with Mexico).

Behrens wants to prove himself at VfL and make his case for another call-up and a place at the EURO. VfL are hoping for a more versatile attack. So far, top goalscorer Jonas Wind (9) has been more or less the sole contributor, with right-winger Vaclav Cerny (3) the second-top goalscorer. Behrens could go straight into the attack, which could see Wind drop behind him as a supporting striker.

Regardless of the personnel and the line-up, Wolfsburg require a turnaround in their attacking fortunes if they are to climb up the table. Their current record is 23 goals in 19 games – only five teams have scored fewer goals than this strong VfL side, who have also managed only one win in their last seven Bundesliga matches (1-0 in Darmstadt). A highly surprising development given that the Wolves made such a promising start to the campaign with three victories in their opening four games.

At least Wolfsburg have performed consistently well in defence. The rearguard is always compact, as demonstrated by the fact that they have conceded only 30 goals so far – only the league's top six have let in fewer goals.

Wolfsburg certainly cannot be accused of lacking ambition: Kovac's team have completed the most intensive runs (15.317, Frankfurt are second with 14.807) and the second-most sprints (4.664, Heidenheim are first with 4.790) in the course of the season to date. Those running records cannot continue to be improved by the trio of Patrick Wimmer (right-winger), Lukas Nmecha and Tiago Tomas (both centre-forwards), who are absent at the moment.

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