Two of the disappointments on Matchday 1 were the performances of Wolfsburg in their 2-0 loss to Hannover and Schalke in their 3-3 draw with Hamburg. They'll get the quick opportunity to make things better this weekend, when they play each other at the Volkswagen Arena.
Dieter Hecking's side collapsed after an early goal by Leon Andreasen and then threw all discipline completely out of the window. Maximilian Arnold was sent off for a straight red card before the first half was out, and Timm Klose followed him shortly after halftime after picking up his second yellow. Nine-man Wolfsburg didn't stand a chance against a quality side like Hannover, and Die Roten grabbed a second goal in the second half to put the match away.
The biggest transfer news in Germany this week is the move of Luiz Gustavo joining Wolfsburg from Bayern Munich. The first choice, Brazil international should get the start in his first match for his new club. Gustavo will add a definite bite to the Wolfsburg midfield and will help combat the strong Schalke attack. He's shown a penchant for unleashing a long pass to unlock the opposition defense which will come in handy with players like Vieirinha and Ivan Perisic on the wings.
Last week against Hamburg, Schalke once against showed that they haven't really figured out this defense thing. Conceding three goals against a side that lost one of their better players (Heung Min Son) and didn't improve much offensively this summer is not a good way to start your season. Jens Keller will likely stick with the same back five and goalkeeper as last week.
Schalke will need to keep an eye on not pushing forward too much and being caught out repeatedly on the break by Wolfsburg. I expect that we'll see a solid game from Klaas Jan Huntelaar up top as he goes against Wolfsburg's centerback pairing Naldo and Robin Knoche. Timm Klose was a signing that I was really high on this summer, but with his suspension, Wolfsburg's depth is being tested earlier than they probably thought.
Though, I do have good news for fans of fun and entertaining football. Julian Draxler will not miss the match after picking up this nasty scrape (Warning: Kind of graphic.) last week. Yay for us!
Injuries and Suspensions
Wolfsburg: Maximilian Arnold (out - suspended), Bas Dost (out - ankle), Timm Klose (out - suspended)
Schalke: Chinedu Obasi (out - leg), Kyriakos Papdopolous (out - knee)
Television and Streaming
TV: Sky 1 (Germany)
Streaming: Sky Go (Germany)
Time and Location
Time: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern
Location: Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg