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Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 0
(0 - 0)
Union Berlin
T. Siebatcheu (54), S. Becker (77)

Kovac plans to use exact same XI against Union

By Peter Vice   @ViceytheSS

When VfL Wolfsburg line up against 1. FC Union Berlin this coming Sunday, those who have been tracking head-coach Niko Kovac's widely varied attempts to implement a system thus far this season might see something totally new. Namely, the exact same starting XI. 
Niko Kovac.
Niko Kovac.Photo: Sven Mandel / CC-BY-SA-4.0
Pleased with the XI that secured their first win under his command against Frankfurt last weekend, VfL Wolfsburg trainer Niko Kovac wishes to utilize the same crew this coming Sunday against 1. FC union Berlin. That is, at least if fitness levels allow for it. Both Lukas Nmecha and Matthias Svanberg had to sit out training sessions this week.

In Nmecha's case, Kovac wished to emphasize that he wasn't concerned that the German national team striker had to take a couple of days off to rehab his knee. The 23-year-old's recent form, in the words of the coach, rendered him still on the proper level to compete from the start this weekend. The same applied to Mattias Svanberg, who had to get a thigh issue looked at.

Kovac utilized a 4-4-2 last weekend in the team's trip to Frankfurt. Luca Waldschmidt worked alongside Nmecha up top. Maximilian Arnold and Bartol Franjic paired together in midfield. Josip Brekalo worked the left flank while Svanberg (out of position) served on the right. Maxence Lacroix and Micky van de Ven were the central defenders between fullbacks Paulo Otavio and Ridle Baku.

"At the moment, everyone is healthy," Kovač stated at his Friday presser, "I'm sure we'll field the same team at the weekend if everyone remains well."

Kovac did note that Patrick Wimmer will remain unavailable.

Opponents Union Berlin enter the matchday at the top of the Bundesliga table. Urs Fischer's Eisernen nevertheless come off a second consecutive loss in Europe following a defeat away at Braga on Thursday night. Fischer had some sharp critiques to offer his team in his post-match comments, but did stress that he felt that the result didn't reflect his team's overall performance level.

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