Wolfsburg will look to claim a sixth consecutive Bundesliga victory when they face Hertha BSC on Tuesday.
|Niko Kovac.||Photo: Sven Mandel / CC-BY-SA-4.0|
Hertha began the calendar year with a disappointing 3-1 defeat away to Bochum. Sandro Schwarz's side thought they had taken an early lead through Lucas Tousart, but his effort was ruled out after the ball had drifted out of play in the build-up. As it proved, Hertha trailed by two goals at half time following strikes from Philipp Hofmann and Keven Schlotterbeck. Hofmann scored his second goal after the break, and although Suat Serdar found the net late on, it was a mere consolation for Hertha, who replaced Bochum in the automatic relegation places.
Having lost four of their last five league games, Hertha are one point adrift of safety. Although they have only won three of their 16 Bundesliga matches this season, they have proven to be a tough team to beat at home.
Their only defeat in their previous six home league matches was a 3-2 loss against reigning champions Bayern Munich. Hertha have also won two of their last three home games, and they have scored two goals in each of their previous four matches at the Olympiastadion.
With Hertha set to face their local rivals Union Berlin at the weekend, they will be keen to warm up for the Derby meeting with a victory on Tuesday.
The hosts are expected to be without the services of Stevan Jovetic, Florian Niederlechner, Chidera Ejuke and Kelian Nsona.
After picking up two points from their opening five games, Niko Kovač's position as Wolfsburg appeared to be under the microscope. The former Bayern boss managed to turn Wolfburg's fortunes around, losing only one of their last 11 league games.
They began 2023 with a remarkable 6-0 victory over Freiburg. Jonas Wind scored a brace, while there were also goals for Patrick Wimmer, Yannick Gerhardt, Ridle Baku and Luca Waldschmidt. The win extended their current unbeaten run to nine Bundesliga matches and leaves Wolfsburg in seventh place, with four points separating them from the Champions League places.
Impressively, they have scored at least two goals in their last seven league games, while they have been resolute at the other end of the pitch, keeping four clean sheets in five Bundesliga matches.
After losing only one of their previous 10 topflight meetings with Hertha, Die Wölfe will be confident of continuing their unbeaten run.
The visitors are unable to call upon Felix and Lukas Nmecha due to injury issues, while Otavio is suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards. Wimmer was forced off in the second half against Freiburg, but Kovač is hopeful the 21-year-old can feature against Hertha.