By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Two teams that are aiming to qualify for UEFA competition next season will go head-to-head on Sunday when eighth-placed Wolfsburg face an Eintracht Frankfurt side who currently occupy sixth position.
|Oliver Glasner.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
After enduring a five-game winless run across all competitions, Wolfsburg finally returned to winning ways last weekend, claiming a 2-0 away victory over FC Köln. Yannick Gerhardt opened the scoring in the fourth minute, before Maximilian Arnold dispatched his 68th-minute spot kick to seal three precious points.
Wolfsburg will head into Sunday’s game in the top half of the table – five points adrift of their sixth-placed opponents. As Wolfsburg attempt to close the gap to Frankfurt, they will be looking to produce a strong defensive display.
Die Wölfe have kept nine clean sheets in the Bundesliga this season – only Freiburg have collected more. Although Wolfsburg have recorded four of their shutouts on home turf, they have conceded seven goals across their last two home matches against Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
However, they managed to keep Frankfurt at bay when the two sides met in September, as Wolfsburg held firm to record a narrow 1-0 win, extending their unbeaten run in meetings with Die Adler to three matches.
Although Niko Kovač will have the majority of his squad to choose from, he will be without the services of Bartol Franjic, who is ruled out with a muscle injury.
Frankfurt will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat after losing to Napoli and RB Leipzig in their last two games. After losing 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League tie with the Serie A leaders, Frankfurt fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Die Roten Bullen last weekend.
Leipzig led by two goals at the break following first half efforts from Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg. Although Djibril Sow halved the deficit just after the hour mark, an equalising goal proved to be elusive.
While Frankfurt will be mindful of the teams chasing from behind, with four points separating them from the Champions League places, a win on Sunday would certainly boost their hopes of securing a top-four finish.
However, Oliver Glasner’s side have struggled on their travels in recent times. Frankfurt have currently winless in five consecutive Bundesliga away games, having failed to record an away league victory since beating Augsburg 2-1 on November 5.
Eric Ebimbe remains sidelined with an ankle injury, while Sow will serve a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend.