Preview: Wolfsburg vs. SV Darmstadt 98 - prediction, team news, lineups
Source: Sportsmole

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Wolfsburg and SV Darmstadt 98, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolfsburg host SV Darmstadt 98 in Saturday's gameweek 32 Bundesliga action at Volkswagen Arena, keen to take advantage of the visitors losing their survival battle.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's men have claimed consecutive wins to elevate them in the standings and welcome a club with one victory in seven months of top-flight action.

Match preview Wolfsburg coach Ralph Hasenhuttl with players look dejected after the match on April 13, 2024 Reuters

A fortnight back, Wolfsburg were nervously looking back at the teams in the relegation tussle, but recent results have given the 12th-placed side some breathing space.

Hasenhuttl's troops have claimed back-to-back triumphs against Bochum (1-0) and Freiburg (2-1) to move 11 points clear of second-bottom Koln, ruling out automatic relegation from the top flight, and six clear of third-bottom Mainz.

A win over Darmstadt and the 05ers falling at Heidenheim increases that advantage to nine with two games remaining, thus securing the Wolves' Bundesliga status.

However, Hasenhuttl will be aware of the home side's pitiful return in front of their fans, with 19 points outdoing only Koln (12) and Darmstadt (six) in 2023-24.

Despite a wretched home return, Wolfsburg supporters will remember how events played out when they hosted a struggling side in their recent home triumph over Bochum to end a five-month wait for success in Saxony.

A second league win at the Volkswagen Arena in 2024 is anticipated against a club whose relegation from the top division was ratified last weekend.

Die Lilien have 17 points from 31 matches, and a 13-point deficit from 15th-placed Bochum means they suffer immediate relegation having run out of games.

Darmstadt losing their top-flight status could see Torsten Lieberknecht's men either thrive with the pressure of survival off or fail to turn up in their final three games before returning to the second tier.

Despite claiming a second road victory in their last away game at Koln (2-0) on April 20, the bottom side are underdogs against a motivated side that aim to secure their Bundesliga position.

Nevertheless, travelling fans will remind observers that the Lilies have lost just two of their recent six away matches, notching three points and recording a sole win over the Cologne-based club. Another commendable performance will offer solace to fans keen to see their club end the campaign positively.

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form:

SV Darmstadt 98 Bundesliga form:

Team News VfL Wolfsburg's Maxence Lacroix celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates Moritz Jenz and Joakim Maehle on October 21, 2023 Reuters

Sebastiaan Bornauw picked up his fifth booking against Freiburg last weekend, forcing Hasenhuttl to alter one of his centre-backs.

While Aster Vranckx (knee) and Cedric Zesiger (ankle) are touch-and-go for Saturday, Lukas Nmecha is not expected to play again this season because of a muscle injury.

Lieberknecht has several issues to deal with, as Matthias Bader (broken nose) and Clemens Riedel (foot) face a race against time to play against Wolfsburg.

However, Alexander Brunst (muscular), Fabian Holland (knee), Fraser Hornby (ankle), Braydon Manu (muscle) and Marvin Mehlem (calf) are all not likely to make appearances on Saturday.

Christoph Klarer and Oscar Vilhelmsson scored the goals that won Darmstadt their second away match this term, and the latter hopes to add to his four Bundesliga goals against Wolfsburg.

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:Casteels; Fischer, Lacroix, Jenz, Maehle; Svanberg, Arnold; Baku, Wimmer, Paredes; Wind

SV Darmstadt 98 possible starting lineup:Schuhen; Zimmerman, Klarer, Maglica; Karic, Kempe, Gjasula, Nurnberger; Justvan; Skarke, Vilhelmsson

We say: Wolfsburg 2-0 SV Darmstadt 98 Despite Darmstadt finding the net in six of their last 10 road games, Wolfsburg's motivation to secure their top-flight status should see the home support celebrate a win. The Wolves have won three of their five Bundesliga matches under Hasenhuttl, and that should become four in six for a club that have never lost to the Lilies on their turf (two wins, one draw).

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.