Bosz: ‘Wolfsburg are very difficult to beat’

The first game in the second half of the season – and the next home match – is coming up: Four days after the 2-1 home win against Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 entertain VfL Wolfsburg at the BayArena on Saturday 23 January (15.30 CET – live text commentary and on Werks11 Radio at and on the Bayer 04 app as well as on TV at Sky). This will be the 48th meeting of the two clubs – and VfL have not played any other club in the Bundesliga as often as Bayer 04.

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The home record clearly favours the Black and Reds: 14 wins, 6 draws and 3 defeats with a goal difference of 55 for and 31 against. The stats are good but the fact VfL will be a tough opponent on Saturday is clear to Peter Bosz as he explained at the pre-match press conference: “Wolfsburg are very solid this season. They perform very well as a team: compact, aggressive, strong in challenges and fast. At the moment, they are very difficult to beat.”

One advantage for the Werkself could well be the positive outcome of the match on Tuesday night. “Winning games gives every player confidence. And even more so when he’s played well and deservedly beaten a top team like Dortmund ,” said the head coach. After a bumpy start to the new year, the Dutchman believes his team “are on the right track. It’s difficult to say whether we’re back at the level we were before the Bayern game. But we’re getting better week by week.”

Aránguiz already “at a higher level than expected”

Things are getting better and better for Charles Aránguiz. The Chilean, in the line-up against BVB for the first time after months out injured, was substituted on 69 minutes. “After such a long break, he obviously feels the minutes on the pitch all over his body. His performance was already at a higher level than we expected.”

The captain had a recovery session on Thursday and Bosz wanted to wait for the Friday training session before deciding if he could count on Aránguiz from the start against Wolfsburg. “Charly is a player who doesn’t need much training to get back to a certain level. That’s because he’s an endurance runner rather than a sprinter. That’s a different pressure. He probably needs some time before he can play for 90 minutes twice a week.”

Whether the recently injured Wendell and Julian Baumgartlinger will be available again also depends on the outcome of the final pre-match training session. For Exequiel Palacios it is too early for a place in the squad. The Argentinian has returned to full training after starting the week with individual workouts but he has to avoid challenges. Sven Bender is also still unavailable.

“DFB verdict is clear”

The verdict of the DFB sports tribunal on Thursday against Florian Hübner due to the incident with Nadiem Amiri at the end of the Werkself match at Union Berlin came up at the press conference. Hübner received “a two-match ban for unsporting conduct. The Berliner, who accepted the verdict, also has to pay a fine of €20,000,” according to the announcement by the DFB. “The verdict is clear. The player apologised, Nadiem accepted it. That means the matter is settled as far as we’re concerned and we’re focussing on the game against Wolfsburg,” said Bosz.

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