Wolfsburg vs. Hertha BSC preview:
Can die Wölfe secure European qualification?
By Ben Sully @SullyBen
Wolfsburg will look to secure a top-six finish when they play host to Hertha BSC on Saturday.
Wolfsburg missed the chance to move into the top six last weekend, as they fell to a 2-0 away defeat to Freiburg. The result ensured that Niko Kovac’s side remain in seventh position and one point adrift of the top six.
Seventh spot could be enough to secure European football if RB Leipzig beat Eintracht Frankfurt in next month’s DFB-Pokal final. However, Wolfsburg will not have to worry about the winner of the cup if they can move into sixth position on Sunday.
With eighth-placed Frankfurt two points adrift of Wolfsburg, there are a number of permutations that could come into play, but die Wölfe know that they will move into sixth position if Leverkusen lose and they beat Hertha BSC.
Home advantage could be crucial for Wolfsburg, who are unbeaten in their previous six games at the Volkswagen Arena. They have also won their last two home matches, which will give them confidence ahead of Saturday’s encounter.
The hosts are unable to call upon the services of Maxence Lacroix, Paulo Otavio and Lukas Nmecha.
Hertha are preparing to play their final game in the Bundesliga for at least a year after they were relegated last weekend.
They looked set to send their relegation fight to the final day of the season when they opened the scoring against Bochum thanks to Lucas Tousart's 63rd-minute strike. However, Keven Schlotterbeck scored a stoppage-time equaliser to consign Hertha to the second tier.
Although Hertha have nothing to play for in the final game of the season, they will still want to end the campaign with a victory. However, their away record suggests that claiming all three points may prove difficult. Die Alte Dame have won just one of their 16 away league games this season. That sole victory took place against Augsburg in September, ensuring Hertha are winless in 13 away matches in the Bundesliga.
The hosts are without the services of Tolga Cigerci, Márton Dárdai, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Agustín Rogel and Kelian Nsona, while there are doubts over the availability of Wilfried Kanga. Meanwhile, Maximilian Mittelstädt is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.