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Wolfsburg hecking wary of Hamburg

In-form Wolfsburg are wary of an improving Hamburg ahead of the two sides' meeting at the Volkswagen Arena on Friday.

Wolfsburg are currently on a five-game unbeaten run that has seen them move up to fifth on the Bundesliga table and within striking distance of the UEFA Champions League spots.

While Hamburg are back in 11th and have struggled so far this campaign, they head into this clash on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Hannover on Monday.

"They're an interesting side, with plenty of young players in good form," Wolfsburg head coach Dieter Hecking said of Hamburg.

"I'm convinced that they'll keep moving forward this season.

"(But) I'm a big fan of Friday evening fixtures.

"The floodlights makes for a great atmosphere and optimal conditions for good football."

Both sides will be without their chief playmakers, with Brazilian Diego unavailable for Wolfsburg after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend, while Rafael van der Vaart is still sidelined through injury for the visitors.

A couple of teenagers are likely to deputise for the absent pair, with Maximilian Arnold impressing for Wolfsburg in his opportunities this season, while Hakan Calhanoglu will continue to cover for Van der Vaart.

Hamburg head coach Bert van Marwijk said there was a better mood in the camp following their win last week but urged his players not to rest on their laurels.

"We've had to prepare unbelievably well in order to give ourselves the chance of a win," Van Marwik said.

"They're a very strong side and we're going to have to call on all our resources - there are never any guarantees."

 

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