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Oct 20, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
SalzburgRed Bull Salzburg
Adeyemi (3'), Okafor (65', 77')
Camara (19'), Capaldo (87')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Nmecha (15')
Mbabu (47'), Arnold (84')

Preview: Red Bull Salzburg vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Red Bull Salzburg vs. Wolfsburg - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Red Bull Salzburg and Wolfsburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

An injury-hit Red Bull Salzburg will endeavour to cement their position atop the Champions League Group G rankings when they host Wolfsburg on Wednesday night.

The Austrian giants managed to claim a 2-1 victory over Ligue 1 champions Lille on matchday two, whereas Wolfsburg were held to a 1-1 draw with Sevilla.

Match preview

Red Bull Salzburg's - and in particular Karim Adeyemi's - unparalleled ability at winning penalties saw them claim another memorable European result on matchday two, as French champions Lille fell to a 2-1 defeat against their Austrian counterparts.

Adeyemi tucked his first spot-kick away in the 35th minute before repeating his trick from 12 yards in the second half, and while Burak Yilmaz's free kick in the 62nd minute made things interesting, Salzburg held on to take all three points in front of the home crowd.

While this young crop of starlets continue to prove their worth in Europe, Matthias Jaissle's side saw their 14-game winning run in the Austrian Bundesliga come to a bitter end at the weekend, as Noah Okafor's opener was cancelled out by Jan Zwischenbrugger of SCR Altach in a 1-1 draw.

The Austrian champions are still unbeaten in all competitions this season and boast a two-point gap over Sevilla atop the rankings in Group G, but an alarming number of injuries may be starting to bedevil them at the worst possible time.

Salzburg can certainly take confidence from their 10-game winning run on home soil across all competitions, though, and they have scored at least two goals in each of their last six encounters on familiar territory, but the hosts have never won back-to-back games in the Champions League before.

A bad-tempered affair between Wolfsburg and Sevilla on matchday two saw eight yellow cards and one red dished out over the course of the 90 minutes, and the spoils were ultimately shared at the Volkswagen Arena after an all-action second half.

Renato Steffen opened the scoring within three minutes of the restart for Wolfsburg, but Joshua Guilavogui was adjudged to have fouled Erik Lamela following a VAR review in the 87th minute and was given his marching orders, with Ivan Rakitic scoring the resulting penalty.

Mark van Bommel certainly made his feelings clear after the full-time whistle, and the Wolfsburg coach was not at all pleased to see his side go down 2-0 to Union Berlin at the weekend either, as Taiwo Awoniyi and Sheraldo Becker's second-half strikes sunk Wolfsburg.

The visitors' strong start to the season has firmly been consigned to history now, as Van Bommel's side have now gone six games without a win since beating Greuther Furth in September, and they have only struck one goal in their last three away matches during an alarming slump.

Wednesday's game will mark the first-ever meeting between Salzburg and Wolfsburg in any competition, and the hosts have only won four of their 10 previous European meetings with German clubs, most recently losing 9-3 over two group games against Bayern Munich last term.

Red Bull Salzburg Champions League form:
  • D
  • W

Red Bull Salzburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Wolfsburg Champions League form:
  • D
  • D

Wolfsburg form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Red Bull Salzburg's two most potent attackers in Adeyemi (adductor) and Benjamin Sesko (torn muscle) are both set to miss out in midweek, with the latter suffering his injury 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute on Saturday.

Fellow forward Sekou Koita is also injured but is ineligible anyway, while centre-backs Oumar Solet and Kamil Piatkowski are not expected back for another couple of months and midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic remains doubtful with heel pain.

However, Brenden Aaronson will hope to return after his late arrival back from international duty with the USA, while Junior Adamu should join Okafor up top for the injury-hit hosts.

Wolfsburg will be forced into a midfield alteration with Guilavogui set to serve a one-match suspension, and Van Bommel's cause is not helped by injuries to fellow lynchpins Xaver Schlager and Yannick Gerhardt.

Nineteen-year-old Aster Vranckx is therefore the most likely candidate to deputise in midfield alongside Maximilian Arnold, while William, Admir Mehmedi and Bartosz Bialek are also sidelined.

Steffen's goal last time out should certainly see him displace Luca Waldschmidt after the latter's ineffective showing against Union, and Maxence Lacroix is set to return to the backline after serving a domestic suspension at the weekend.

Red Bull Salzburg possible starting lineup:
Kohn; Kristensen, Onguene, Wober, Ulmer; Seiwald, Camara, Sucic; Aaronson; Okafor, Adamu

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Mbabu, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon; Arnold, Vranckx; Baku, Philipp, Steffen; Weghorst

We say: Red Bull Salzburg 1-2 Wolfsburg

Without Adeyemi and Sesko leading the charge, Salzburg have lost a good chunk of their attacking bite and cannot expect to produce another goal-laden performance in Europe this week, even though their inexperience is yet to harm them in this competition.

Wolfsburg are hardly full of confidence either and cannot expect to blow their hosts away, but Van Bommel's side can take advantage of Salzburg's injury problems and youthful nature to end their rut and blow Group G wide open.

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