VfL Wolfsburg have cleaned up all national titles in German women's football over the past four years – "they are an exceptional team, famous throughout Europe," said Bayer 04 head coach Achim Feifel ahead of the game. "You need a lot more than normal against an opponent like that – a fantastic team performance and players who excel on the day," the coach declared.
The Champions League finalists clearly dominated the FLYERALARM Women's Bundesliga last season as in the years before giving away only four points in two draws. And the Wolves have continued this season where they left off: There was a 3-0 win in the opening game against Essen; that was followed by a 4-1 victory at Hoffenheim and a 2-0 win against newly promoted Meppen. Over the summer, VfL lost an outstanding striker in Germany's Women's Footballer of the Year, Pernille Harder but they did bring in a promising replacement in Shanice van de Sanden from Chelsea and she was a three-time Champions League winner with Lyon.
"We know what to expect in terms of the quality of the opposition. It's important we are incredibly aggressive in defence but decisive after winning the ball, show ambition in transition play and are effective in taking the chances we get," said Feifel who is still struggling with squad availability.
Nina Brüggemann (muscular problem) is still not an option, just like Sylwia Matysik who has a calf injury. Jessica Wich was unable to train during the week due to back problems – there is a question mark over her as there is with Henrietta Csiszár (muscular problem). Ann-Kathrin Vinken has returned to full training after recovering from a bruised hip.
At the start of a double fixture week, Feifel will not rest anyone in view of the games against Frankfurt in Bremen: “We can't take the double fixture week into account. We want to get a result against Wolfsburg so we have to give everything. We will field the fittest team in all three games.”
Bayer 04 had originally set a limit of 96 on the number of spectators at the Kurtekotten Performance Centre. Due to the increase in the seven-day infection rate, which has rapidly increased in and around Leverkusen and was over 35 on Friday morning, 2 October, this match will now be played behind closed doors.
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