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Saturday, March 18, 2006 

Wolfsburg - HSV (Derby United Preview)

After pinching a point off at home to the mighty Bundesliga table-toppers Bayern Munich last time out, the Wolves have another mountain to climb in round 26, as second placed HSV visits the VOLKSWAGEN ARENA. The three points at stake on Saturday (18.3.06, kick off 3.30 pm), are mega-crucial for both sides for differing reasons: The Wolves are only 3 points above the relegation zone whereas HSV need them to keep them sitting pretty in second place, on course for a place in next season’s Champions League competition.

Unlucky visitors
HSV makes the short trip to Wolfsburg in round 26 of the Bundesliga on Saturday, after unluckily exiting the UEFA Cup on the away goals rule against Rapid Bucharest in midweek, coach Thomas Doll’s side will be determined to return to winning ways in Wolfsburg. The Bucharest game was HSV’s 46th this season.

Fond memories
VfL Wolfsburg was the first side to beat HSV in the AOL Arena this season, as they won 1-0 in round 9. A 19th minute gaol by Diego Klimowicz gave the Wolves an unexpected victory on that day, and HSV will want revenge for that defeat.

Fine record
The Wolves won their last 3 home games against HSV, and will be hoping to emulate the performance which saw them take a point off mighty Bayern Munich at home in round 25 (0-0). The only HSV victory away to Wolfsburg was on October 21st 2001.

Hristov back after 15 months
The Wolves coach will probably not risk playing his top scorer Diego Klimowicz from the start on Saturday but the Argentinean, who has 11 Bundesliga goals to his name so far this season, could be used later on during the game if needed. Klaus Augenthaler will be without the injured Alex (shin) and Levan Tskitishvili (muscular problem) as well as Cedrick Makiadi (knee surgery). On the good news side, Marian Hristov makes a return to the squad after 15 months on the sidelines following multiple operations on his knee: "We checked the knee on Wednesday and discovered no negative reaction. Marian has come on leaps and bounds over the last few weeks, so he is in the squad on Saturday", said a delighted Augenthaler.

Nice change for Patric
Instead of putting his usual number two keeper André Lenz on the bench against HSV, Auge has decided to replace him with his under-21 keeper Patric Platins. Augenthaler will more than likely field the same 11 which started the game against Bayern. He is also expected to stick with the 3-5-2 system which did the trick last time out.

Dolly keeps the faith
HSV coach Doll is expected to pick the side which beat Rapid Bucharest 3-1 in their fourth round second leg UEFA Cup tie at home to Rapid Bucharest, but still failed to progress to the quarter final stage of the competition, which means that striker Benny Lauth will get the nod ahead of the Japanese international striker Takahara.

Differing ambitions
HSV will be hoping to bag their 9th away win of the season and in doing so, consolidate their current position of second in the Bundesliga table. The home side is only 3 points above the dreaded drop zone, so maximum points against HSV on Saturday would be worth their weight in gold.

Best behaviour
The Wolves defensive midfielder Hans Sarpei will have to behave on Saturday because he has 4 yellow cards to his name. A further card would make him miss the crucial round 27 clash away to Schalke (23.3.06, kick off 3.30 pm). The same problem applies to the following HSV players: Atouba, van der Vaart, de Jong and Boulahrouz. A further card for those players would mean that they would miss out on the round 27 home game against Borussia Dortmund.

Possible line-ups:

VfL Wolfsburg: Jentzsch; Quiroga, van der Heyden, Hofland; Sarpei, Thiam, van der Leegte, Menseguez; Karhan; Hanke, Hoogendorp

Reserves: Klimowicz , Platins, Langkamp, Schnoor, Hristov, Marlet, Neziri, Fischer, Lamprecht, Franz

Missing: Makiadi, Tskitishvili, Alex

4 yellow cards: Sarpei

HSV: Kirschstein; Mahdavikia, Boulahrouz, van Buyten, Atouba; Wicky; de Jong, Jarolim; van der Vaart; Lauth, Barbarez

Reserves: Wächter, B. Reinhardt, Karl, Fillinger, Trochowski, Klingbeil, Kucukovic, Demel, Ailton, Laas, Takyi, Takahara

Missing: Hampel, Beinlich

4 yellow cards: Atouba, van der Vaart, de Jong, Boulahrouz

Source: vfl-wolfsburg.de


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