VfL Wolfsburg – Match Report vs Eintracht Frankfurt 30/05/20

With the match ending 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolfsburg dropped three points. They dominated the game with a strong majority of the chances in the game, conceding a penalty and a late winner. Frankfurt looked a lot stronger than in recent weeks but Wolfsburg were unfortunate to drop points on the ball and had a decent penalty shout denied. Wolfsburg lined up in a 4-4-1-1 with Weghorst the target man up front but they weren’t clinical enough with their shots and rushed the final ball.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Kevin Mbabu

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Swiss
  • Age: 25
  • Date of birth: 19/04/1995
  • Current club: VfL Wolfsburg
  • Career: Servette (Y), Newcastle, Rangers (L), Young Boys (L), Young Boys, VfL Wolfsburg
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing at right back Mbabu was strong athletically and wanted to progress and carry the ball down his wing. He had a great burst of pace and good work rate throughout the game. He was able to control the ball at speed and knock it past opponents but wasn’t great at 1v1s if he couldn’t utilise his speed. He struggled when play was slower and was quite a predictable dribbler but was good at carrying into space.

He was direct with his passing, always looking to pass forwards and down the line, avoiding simple passes when he could. This was a risky approach with a lot of his medium length passes not being executed but did well to link with the right winger, Steffen.

He’s very attack-minded and wants to get the ball forward, as seen through his passing and ball carrying. But, could have made better decisions and overplayed at times, losing possession often or taking too long on the ball, allowing pressure and taking too long to make decisions rather than taking simple passes to avoid pressure.

He defended well when the line was high, pressing out well using his burst of acceleration to apply quick pressure and press the player receiving from behind. He also had good throw ins which were dangerous in attack and scored his team’s goal with a header from a wide free kick.

Rating – B1

Marin Pongracic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 11/09/1997
  • Current club: VfL Wolfsburg
  • Career: Bayern Munich (Y), Ingolstadt (Y), 1860 Munich (Y), RB Salzburg, VfL Wolfsburg
  • Position: Centre Half
  • Preferred foot: Right

Prongracic is comfortable on the ball and calm under pressure. He used feints to create space and kept his head up to see his options. His passing was smooth and he passed into the midfield well. He had good long passing technique and was a weapon he wanted to utilise, playing through balls into the channels or into Weghorst up front. He tried to force these a few times though and could have just circulated the ball but chose the more expansive option. He also had a good first touch and carried the ball into space well.

He’s 6’3″ and very fast with good acceleration. He closed down attackers quickly, staying very tight to them and able to compete with their pace on counter attacks. However, in deeper positions he lost concentration and was ball watching at times. In the box he rarely scanned and his body position could have been better when the ball was wide. His marking was poor and nearly cost them some big chances.

Rating – A2

His size and speed as well as ability on the ball make him a promising centre half. Along with defending well in the high line he is an appealing option for attacking teams, however had defensive weaknesses closer to his own goal.

Josip Brekalo

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 23/06/1998
  • Current club: VfL Wolfsburg
  • Career: Dinamo Zagreb, VfL Wolfsburg, VfB Stuttgart (L)
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

The main creator in the side, Brekalo is 5’9″ with a very slim frame and low centre of gravity. He was fast and very agile with fast feet and a good change of direction. He was able to protect the ball well at times but overall was too weak and lacked the physicality to compete and win his 1v1s.

Playing as the 10, he drifted wide a lot to create overloads and support wide play. He had good vision and passing into the box and was good at operating in tight spaces with tight ball control and quick passing decisions. But was very right footed which limited him at times in the final third.

He worked hard, supporting or leading the counter attack and making good late runs into the box but was unable to finish his chances. His finishing was poor, taking several long shots which failed to really be a threat and sliced his chances a bit and put the best chance of the game over the bar. He also had good corner deliveries.

Rating – B1

Xaver Schlager

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 28/09/1997
  • Current club: VfL Wolfsburg
  • Career: RB Salzburg, VfL Wolfsburg
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Playing in the double pivot Schalger had a quietly strong performance. The Austrian international showed good passing, mostly spreading play to either wing to start counter attacks. He didn’t drive forward to join the counter but would support it from deep if it slowed, pushing up for an option outside the box, taking a few off target shots but was able to get a lot of power onto them.

He was often in the right place at the right time, picking up loose balls to then carry forward and spread play wide. He rarely took on players 1v1 but was able to carry into space well. He’s 5’9″ with quite a stocky build and did fairly well defensively, with good positioning and decent pressing.

Rating – B1

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