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Bundesliga | Gameweek 12
Nov 25, 2023 at 2.30pm UK
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RB Leipzig

Preview: Wolfsburg vs. RB Leipzig - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and RB Leipzig, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolfsburg will be desperate to end a run of five matches without a league win when they host RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

The visitors need a positive result to ensure that they remain in the Champions League qualification places.

Match preview

VfL Wolfsburg's Maxence Lacroix celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Moritz Jenz and Joakim Maehle on October 21, 2023© Reuters

Although Wolfsburg had only taken one point from their previous four matches, they had all been close encounters, so their 4-0 defeat away to Borussia Monchengladbach prior to the international break would have provided Niko Kovac with a major shock.

Gladbach scored twice either side of half-time to thrash their opponents and leapfrog them in the table, with Wolfsburg blanking in front of goal for only the second time this season. Only Union Berlin have a poorer record from the last five matches across the Bundesliga.

However, Kovac's side did defeat Leipzig 1-0 in the DFB-Pokal last month, which ironically set up another away trip to Monchengladbach at the last-16 stage next month. The former Bayern Munich boss will need a fresh tactical blueprint if they are to remain on course to secure the club's second German cup triumph.

In the meantime, though, he will be demanding much more from his players against Leipzig as they aim to move back into the top half of the table. A repeat scoreline from their recent cup meeting against them would do wonders for the Wolves' confidence and outlook on the rest of the season.

RB Leipzig coach Marco Rose reacts on November 7, 2023© Reuters

However, Leipzig would likely point to the fact that they had Yussuf Poulsen sent off in the 56th minute during their recent defeat at the Volkswagen Arena, yet still dominated possession with 66% of the ball.

After suffering a shock 2-0 defeat away to struggling Mainz 05, Die Roten Bullen returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga last time out, as they dispatched Freiburg 3-1 to move into fourth position.

Merlin Rohl cancelled out Xavi Simons' early opener during an entertaining first half, with the match appearing to be fizzling out for a draw. However, Lois Openda coolly converted a penalty with 11 minutes of normal time remaining, before Christoph Baumgartner settled the match less than 60 seconds later.

Having already secured their progression to the knockout stages of the Champions League with two group games remaining, Marco Rose and his players can fully focus on maintaining their strong league form as they look to consolidate their position within the qualification spots for Europe's elite competition.

While Rose will almost certainly have ear-marked their trip to his former club Borussia Dortmund next month as a crucial match in their campaign, they can not afford to take their eye off the ball. This is especially true against a team like Wolfsburg, who will be highly motivated to stop their recently rotten league form.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):

RB Leipzig Bundesliga form:

RB Leipzig form (all competitions):

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Team News

RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo celebrates scoring their second goal on August 25, 2023© Reuters

Wolfsburg will remain without their star striker Lukas Nmecha until the New Year after the Germany striker underwent knee surgery, while Patrick Wimmer and Felix Lange (ankle injuries) are both facing a race against time to feature before the winter break.

Despite having had time to reflect and recharge during the international break, Kovac may feel obliged to make some selection changes after seeing his side dismantled away to Monchengladbach. He is likely to revert to a back three, with the likes of Ridle Baku, Lovro Majer and Vaclav Cerny potentially returning to the hosts' starting XI.

Leipzig, meanwhile, are missing one of their own key players in the form of Dani Olmo. The Spain midfielder has barely been available this season due to a knee issue, but his dislocated shoulder sustained against FC Koln last month is expected to keep him out until January.

Defenders Willi Orban and El Chadaille Bitshiabu both remain sidelined due to knee injuries, but otherwise Rose appears to have a fully fit squad at his disposal, meaning he could name an unchanged side should he wish to.

However, the likes of Benjamin Henrichs and Kevin Kampl provide useful options to come into the side, with the former Dortmund boss likely to have one eye on his side's trip to the Champions League holders Manchester City in midweek.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Lacroix, Jenz, Zesiger; Baku, Svanberg, Arnold, Maehle; Cerny, Majer; Wind

RB Leipzig possible starting lineup:
Blaswich; Henrichs, Simakan, Lukeba, Raum; Simons, Schlager, Kampl, Forsberg; Openda, Sesko

SM words green background

We say: Wolfsburg 1-2 RB Leipzig

Wolfsburg's league form dropped off a cliff prior to the international break, so Kovac will be hoping that the timing of it has worked in his side's favour. They will take some confidence from beating Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal last month.

However, Die Roten Bullen have become a consistent outfit under Rose, with Openda only one goal from moving into double figures in the Bundesliga. We expect the visitors to have a little bit too much firepower in the end.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen11101034102431
2Bayern MunichBayern119204293329
4RB Leipzig1172228101823
5Borussia DortmundDortmund116322117421
7Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt114611711618
9Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach113442323013
12Werder Bremen113261822-411
14VfL BochumVfL Bochum111641125-149
15SV Darmstadt 98112271432-188
16Mainz 05Mainz111461124-137
17FC Koln11137923-146
18Union BerlinUnion Berlin112091126-156

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