The beginning of the 2015/2016 Bundesliga season is rapidly approaching and Wolfsburg will be looking to build on last years successful campaign in which the Wolves finished 2nd in the top tier of German football and won the Deutscher Pokal for the first time in the clubs history.
Surprisingly, Dieter Hecking hasn’t made much movement within the summer transfer window so far – with only three permanent signings completed. This suggests that either the 50 year-old German is content with the current squad or that he’s waiting for the right opportunity to bring in a player of top quality.
The starting XI which I have selected is predominantly the same as the side which played regularly throughout the 2014/2015, however, there are a couple of changes in which I have made.
Below is the team which I believe should start against Frankfurt on the 16th:
The back five is slightly different compared to Hecking’s preferred choice with right-back Christian Trasch and central defender Robert Knoche coming into the team. With ‘Die Wolfe’s’ defensive record being somewhat below par last season, I felt that a shake-up was required in order to address those problems.
Luiz Gustavo retains his deserved place as the aggressive holding midfielder (with there not being many other options), next to a surprising selection in Aaron Hunt. I’m personally a big fan of the former Werder Bremen midfielder; he has a valuable eye for goal and has the attributes to adapt to various different roles within the centre of the park. With De Bruyne roaming around the pitch throughout the entire game and Luiz Gustavo maintaining the defensive side of the game in midfield, Hunt would be the best choice to occupy that space between Gustavo and the attacking four.
The three attacking midfielders haven’t seen a change, with Perisic, Schurrle and De Bruyne being the most obvious candidates. The only minor change to these is that I have positioned Kevin De Bruyne slightly higher than usual. The Belgian (whom conjured up 20 assists last campaign) was also Wolfsburg’s 2nd top goal scorer; therefore, with him playing higher up the field and being in and around the opposition box more, I’d expect him to improve on that tally this season.
In terms of leading the line, I have decided to go with Max Kruse. Even though Dutch striker Bas Dost had a remarkable season last year (scoring 16 in 21 in the Bundesliga), it has been only the first year in which he has shown a real goal scoring ability; Max Kruse on the other hand has hit double figures for the past 4 years running and with the German centre-forward now finding himself in a team filled with creative and attacking players, this could be the year we see him reach the 20 mark.
Overall, it seems that there are one-or-two positions in which Wolfsburg need to improve on and bring in players of top quality if they are to challenge both Bayern Munich and on the European stage. However, the side displayed above is still a very strong team and following their Supercup win against the German champions, they will be feeling very optimistic about the upcoming season.