Following their emphatic 6-0 win against Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga last Saturday, Wolfsburg travel to the city of Moscow in order to face Russian League outfit CSKA. Ash Bromfield discusses how the DFB-Pokal champions should set-up.
Although I have opted for the 4-2-3-1 formation which Wolfsburg regularly employ, I have decided to alter one-or-two players whom I believe will be the key to defeating CSKA in what is sure to be a fierce occasion in a renowned hostile environment at the Arena Khimki.
The Defensive Five
I have made one change to the defence which started the game against Werder Bremen on Saturday. Peru international Carlos Ascues makes his way into the team above Dante. CSKA will look to use their blistering pace against the Wolves and the likes of Dante may be vulnerable to this due to his lack of speed. Therefore, I felt that Wolfsburg need to sure up that section and with Robin Knoche still out with injury, Ascues is the most reasonable choice. Other than that, the defence maintains a consistent look which it has done throughout the majority of the season.
The Holding Midfield Pair
Luis Gustavo retains his place within the deep central midfield. However, I have chosen Josh Guilavogui to be his partner. Dietar Hecking opted for Max Arnold against Werder Bremen on Saturday, which I believe would be the wrong decision against the Russian outfit on Wednesday. The reason behind this is that Luis Gustavo would be more comfortable if he was given license to roan around the pitch, varying from box-to-box. In order to allow this without leaving too many gaps, he needs to have a defensive-minded midfielder behind him in order to cover and maintain that space. Therefore, Guilavogui is the perfect man to sit just in front of the defence.
The Attacking Midfield Trio
Although Julian Draxler’s ban only accounts for domestic games, I feel that Caligiuri would be a more sensible option for the ‘number 10’ role. Similar to the decision to include Ascues, Caligiuri would offer more pace and a higher work ethic whilst still possessing the creativity to notch up a cluster of chances. It will be vital for the three attacking midfielders to track back and carry out their defensive duties.
The Lone Striker
Max Kruse is without a doubt the most technically gifted player of all the forwards at Wolfsburg. This was the predominant reason behind me selecting him. The idea behind it is that he would adopt a role similar to the ‘false nine’ with the likes of Schurrle and Vierinha overlapping.
Whilst it’s unlikely that Hecking will field this line-up come the 25th November, it’s certainly the best way of countering the threat of what is going to be a forward-thinking CSKA outfit.