Time: 14:30 PM
Venue: Volkswagen Arena (Wolfsburg)
Wolfsburg recorded only their third-ever finish in the Bundesliga’s top-four last campaign. That raises hopes of home boss Mark van Bommel making a winning start to managerial life in the German top flight, even though three of his four immediate predecessors only drew 1-1 on their respective Bundesliga debuts for ‘Die Wölfe’.
Interestingly, only Bayern Munich’s league fixtures saw more match openers arrive in the first 15 minutes than Wolfsburg’s (16) last term. That may inspire €8m signing Lukas Nmecha to start well, despite none of his last six goals arriving before the 30th minute.
Last season saw Wolfsburg start their home campaign unbeaten in 13 (W9, D4), with eight clean sheets. Additionally, ‘Die Wölfe’ have won six (L1) of their last seven Bundesliga home H2Hs, and boast a 70% overall H2H home-win percentage – their third-highest amongst all teams they’ve faced 10+ times at home.
Bundesliga 2 winners Bochum are back in the top-flight after an 11-year absence. On early evidence they have a big survival fight ahead, as highlighted in the DFB Pokal first round last weekend, when they needed extra-time to overcome fourth-tier side Wuppertaler SV.
Starting well could be crucial for the visitors, considering that last season saw ‘Die Unabsteigbaren’ pick up just one win across their first four league games (W1, D2, L1). Bochum also struggled away from home in the last campaign, losing 35.29% of their away league matches.
Players to watch: Wout Weghorst netted Wolfsburg’s first home goal of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season – that strike came before the 20th minute vs a promoted side. Meanwhile, Bochum’s Simon Zoller warmed up for the main event in style last weekend, with a goal and assist in the ET cup win over Wuppertaler.
- Wolfsburg’s form in last 5 matches: DLLLL.
- Bochum’s form in last 5 matches: DLLWW.
PREDICTION: Home/Draw and Over 1.5