Wolfsburg v Werder Bremen – Volkswagen Arena at 19:30 live on BT Sport 3
Werder Bremen’s brief revival under Alexander Nouri came to a close at the winter break (W2-D3-L0) and the River Islanders slumped back into the Bundesliga relegation places following a pointless start to 2017 (W0-D0-L4).
The alarming slide prompted sporting director Frank Baumann to heavily criticise the club’s players following a 1-0 defeat at home to Gladbach a fortnight ago. The Bremen boss said the club needed to work out “which ones are fit to wear the shirt.”
Bremen rise to the occasion
Nouri was given a stay of execution with Baumann essentially giving the rookie coach a game to save his job with a tricky trip to Mainz next on the agenda. Against the odds, Werder rallied and first-half goals from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Delaney were enough to seal an unexpected victory.
The encounter ended 2-0 to Bremen with the visitors – Bundesliga’s worst defence – securing only their second clean sheet of the campaign due to goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald’s heroics.
Next up for Werder is a derby date with Wolfsburg but the River Islanders’ joy might well be short-lived with key centre-back Clemens Fritz now absent through suspension. Without their best defender, Bremen have lost six of nine games and averaged 2.20 goals per-game against.
Wolves showing signs of life
Wolfsburg have endured a disastrous campaign but have shown signs of life since Dieter Hecking was removed as head coach. The unconvincing Valerien Ismael has stepped into the breach but has appeared to have improved team spirit in what was an unhappy camp before Christmas.
The Wolves were well beaten at Dortmund last weekend but their form at their Volkswagen Arena form has shown signs of life of late with a come-from-behind triumph against Hoffenheim proceeding the Dortmund defeat, one of three victories from four home outings.
The hosts have claimed top honours in each of the past three head-to-heads here, notching 11 goals and leaking only once, and another home success looks worthy of our support at 1.88. Bremen have been beaten in 14/27 (52%) away days since the start of last season, keeping only three clean sheets.
Potential goals angle
Goal-focussed punters might be keen on the 1.98 available for Over 2.75 Goals considering it’s landed in the last eight renewals between the pair, as well as 14 of Bremen’s last 19 away days. In fact, four or more goals has proven profitable in seven of the visitors’ most recent 10 away trips with 17 of their past 21 paying-out for Both Teams To Score punters.
However, it’s worth noting that only rock-bottom Darmstadt have notched fewer league goals than Wolfsburg this season whilst six of their 11 Volkswagen Arena outings have produced no more than a solitary strike.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Wolfsburg -0.5 at 1.88
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