Wolfsburg takes on Cologne on 8/16/19 as the German Bundesliga opens its 2019/20 season at the Volkswagen Arena.
VfL Wolfsburg was founded in 1945 and finished in 6th place during the 2018/19 Bundesliga and automatically qualified for the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League. That was a terrific bounce-back campaign after they placed 16th in the previous two seasons. They have won the Bundesliga once in their history, doing so in 2008/09 and finished second during the 2014/15 term. But after selling 2014/15 German Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City for what is reportedly the Bundesliga record departure fee of €75 million. The Wolves have also won the DFB-Pokal once and the DFL-Supercup one time as well.
These are the listed players for VfL Wolfsburg as of August 3, 2019:
1 GK Koen Casteels (vice-captain) 2 DF Willian, 4 MF Ignacio Camacho, 5 DF Jeffrey Bruma, 6 DF Paulo Otavio, 7 FW Josip Brekalo, 8 MF Renato Steffen, 9 FW Wout Weghorst, 10 MF Yunus Malli, 11 MF Felix Klaus, 12 GK Pavao Pervan, 13 MF Yannick Gerhardt, 14 FW Admir Mehmedi, 15 DF Jerome Roussillon, 17 DF Felix Uduokhai,19 DF Kevin Mbabu, 21 MF Paul-Georges Ntep, 22 FW Lukas Nmecha (on loan from Manchester City), 23 MF Joshua Guilavogi (captain), 24 MF Xaver Schlager, 25 DF John Brooks, 27 MF Maximilian Arnold (3rd captain), 29 MF John Yeboah, 30 GK Niklas Klinger, 31 DF Robin Knoche, 32 DF Marcel Tisserand, 33 FW Daniel Ginczek, 36 GK Philip Menzel, 37 MF Elvis Rexhbecaj, 38 MF Ismail Azzaoui, 40 FW Joao Victor
Odds from Titanbet.com as of 8/12/19
FC Koln of FC Cologne was formed in 1948 and were the winners of Bundesliga 2 during the 2018/19 season, thus earning an immediate return to the top flight one year after being relegated. This is a team which has finished as runner-up five times in the Bundesliga and a squad which has won the Bundesliga title twice. They were crowned as German football champions in 1962 and are also four-time winners of the DFB-Pokal. The team is dubbed as the Billy Goats about its male goat mascot Hennes, who is named after veteran FC player and manager Hennes Weisweiler.
These are the players for FC Cologne as of August 6, 2019:
1 GK Timo Horn, 2 DF Benno Schmitz, 3 Lasse Sobiech, 4 DF Frederik Sorensen, 5 DF Rafael Czichos, 6 MF Marco Hoger, 7 MF Marcel Risse, 8 MF Birger Verstraete, 9 FW Simon Terrode, 11 FW Kingsley Schindler, 13 MF Louis Schaub, 14 MF Jonas Hector (captain), 15 FW Jhon Cordoba, 17 MF Christian Clemens, 18 GK Thomas Kessler, 19 DF Kingsley Ehizbue, 20 MF Salih Ozcan, 21 Vincent Koziello, 22 DF Jorge Mere, 23 DF Jannes Horn, 24 MF Dominick Drexler, 27 FW Anthony Modeste, 28 MF Ellyes Skhiri, 30 MF Florian Kainz, 31 GK Brady Scott, 32 GK Julian Krahl, 33 DF Sebastian Bornauw, 34 DF Noah Katterbach, 35 DF Matthias Bader, 36 MF Niklas Hauptmann, 38 MF Nikolas Nartey, 39 MF Darko Churlinov
Cologne wasted no time and returned to the top flight after their relegation to Bundesliga 2 in 2017/18. The team finished on top of the second tier to make an immediate return to Bundesliga where they finished in 5th place in 2017.
Achim Beierlorzer was appointed head coach of Cologne from the upcoming season. He will be taking over from Jahn Regensburg who leaves after a successful two-year tenure as coach of the Billy Goats. Dutch full-back Kingsley Ehizibue, defender Sebastian Bornauw, Ellyes Skhiri, and Birger Verstraete have been added to help Germany international Hector Jonas but I’m not sure if they will be enough to beat the soccer betting favorites of this match.
Wolfsburg was the surprise team during the 2018/19 Bundesliga season as they finished in the top six, just three points off fourth place while earning a spot at the UEFA Europa League. What makes them more impressive is the fact that they accomplished this barely 12 months after negotiating the relegation playoffs for the second straight year.
Bruno Labbadia left the team at the end of the 2018/19 term after doing wonders for 14 months or so as to head coach for Wolfsburg. Oliver Glasner from LASK Linz takes over after leading his former side to a runner-up finish in the 2018/19 Austrian Bundesliga. Brazilian winger Victor has followed Glasner to Wolfburg and he is coming off a 13-goal season. Austrian Midfielder Xaver Schlager has also joined the squad along with Swiss right-back Kevin Mbabu.
The Wolves have looked comfortable in Glasner’s 3-4-4 formation during the preseason. With Joao Victor forcing the action and Wout Weghorst delivering the goals, look for Wolfsburg to take this match with their efficient passing game. I’m picking Wolfsburg to beat Cologne on 8/16/19. Prediction: Wolfsburg.