Wolfsburg v Dortmund Preview: Sancho set to start as BVB aim to keep pace with Bayern

Lucien Favre's side made a successful return to play with a win after the league postponement last week, as did Die Wolfe

12:00pm on Friday 22nd May 2020
Martin Macdonald

The return of the Bundesliga last weekend amid the Covid-19 pandemic was a success, but now that the novelty of the first round of fixtures being played behind closed doors has worn off, the focus returns to the football.

This weekend, Dortmund have the opportunity to close the gap on Bayern to one point, albeit temporarily with the league leaders playing just a couple of hours later. Shrinking the gap could provide a psychological boost to BVB, while we will see again how Bayern perform under the increased pressure, just like they did comfortably last Sunday versus Union Berlin.


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Even though the dream of a Champions League spot is probably out of reach for Wolfsburg, they'll be eager to secure their spot in the Europa League at the very least, while also harbouring hope that the teams above start dropping points rapidly.


Due to the extended period of time before the return game last week, any talk of form is negligible at this point.

Wolfsburg did, however, claim a victory in their last game against Augsburg, winning 2-1 thanks to a last-minute goal from Daniel Ginczek. Even though the winning goal came fortuitously late, it was a deserved one as they outshone Augsburg in just about every department.

They had 60% possession, double the amount of shots on goal (18-6), more completed passes (395-236), and more won tackles (18-14) than their opponents on the day.

With a FootballCritic rating of 8.0, Kevin Mbabu was the MOTM in that game, with an assist for the winning goal topping off an all-round impressive display.


Favre's charges were in scintillating form against Schalke last week, winning 4-0 with Erling Haaland, Thorgan Hazard, and Raphael Guerreiro (2) all scoring in the extremely comfortable return to the Westfalenstadion.

It could have and should have been more, too, but the foot was taken off the gas in the latter stages as both sides naturally began to tire.

Like Wolfsburg last week, they had 60% possession and out-shot their opponents, albeit only by one with 11 shots to 10. Dortmund also outperformed their xG on the day, scoring four to the expected goals of 1.45.

Raphaël Guerreiro
D, AM (L) - Dortmund - 26 yrs
May 16, 2020
87Minutes played
4Total shots
9Final third passes
5Touches in box
7Duels won
92Successfull passes %

Guerreiro's two goals catapulted him into the top position for the best player of the Bundesliga weekend, but a special mention for Julian Brandt, who recorded two assists on the day and was fabulous from deeper areas, flourishing in the space awarded to him by Schalke.


Unfortunately for Wolfsburg's hero of the piece last weekend, Daniel Ginczek, he will likely have to settle for a place on the bench for Wolfsburg on Saturday as the team welcomes back top goalscorer Wout Weghorst from suspension.

Yannick Gerhardt and Joshua Guilavogui will once again miss out.

For Dortmund, there should be a return to the starting XI for Jadon Sancho as Favre looks to give the young Englishman game time before the highly anticipated Der Klassiker against Bayern next Tuesday. Emre Can could return, too.

Definitely missing for BVB is Marco Reus, who could miss the rest of the season, Dan-Axel Zagadou, and Nico Schulz.

Axel Witsel could make a comeback after missing the game against Schalke, but is not as up to speed fitness-wise as Sancho, and so could actually be rested with the mammoth clash against Bayern in mind.


WOLFSBURG (4-2-3-1): Casteels; Mbabu, Knoche, Brooks, Otavio; Schlager, Arnold; Steffen, Mehmedi, Brekalo; Weghorst

DORTMUND (3-4-3): Burki; Piszczek, Hummels, Akanji; Hakimi, Can, Dahoud, Guerreiro; Sancho, Brandt; Haaland.


19 yrs - S (C) - Dortmund
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
Played matches
Shots P90
Shots On target P90
Duels won P90
Final third passes P90

The Norwegian wonderkid added to his growing Bundesliga goal tally last weekend against Schalke, opening the scoring with a gorgeous finish into the bottom corner after opening up the instep of his left foot.

Wolfsburg have a decent defence, though, and have actually conceded less goals than Dortmund this campaign, so it is unlikely he'll be given as easy a time as Schalke awarded him last Saturday.

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