Manuel Veth –
Olexandriya vs Wolfsburg – Thursday, November 28, 17:55GMT/18:55CET – Arena Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine
For the Ukrainian side, the math is simple: a defeat against Wolfsburg will end Olexandriya’s hopes of reaching the knockout phase. A difficult task considering that Olexandriya will be considered outsiders by oddsmakers like Betway88 ahead of the matchday 5 clash against the Autostädter.
Going into the game on Thursday, Olexandriya’s Betway88 odds of winning the game are 1 to 5.0—Wolfsburg’s odds are 1 to 1.62. Coached by Volodymyr Sharan, Olexandriya have, however, done well this season and with 27 points out of 15 games sit just three points behind second-placed Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian Premier Liha.
Meanwhile, in the Europa League, Olexandriya have held their own in Group I. Three draws, and the lone defeat to Wolfsburg on matchday 1 means that the Ukrainians are still within reach of qualification. With an overall transfer value of just €11 million, the draws against Gent and St. Etienne are, in fact, impressive results.
Whether they can repeat the performance against Wolfsburg remains to be seen, however. After all, a win for Wolfsburg, coupled with a draw or defeat for St-Étienne at home to Gent, will send the German side through with a game to spare. Betway insider football news makes a Wolfsburg victory on Thursday the likeliest scenario.
A prediction that is underlined by Wolfsburg’s recent result in the Bundesliga—down a man for 45 minutes die Autostädter managed an impressive 2-0 victory over fellow Europa League side Eintracht Frankfurt. “It didn’t weaken us; quite the contrary, it made us come together as a team,” striker Wout Weghorst said after the game.
“[The result] gives us confidence,” head coach Oliver Glasner said to kicker. “We lacked some confidence in recent weeks, and that result will stabilize things for us.” Wolfsburg had struggled with results going into the match. But those results were largely considered growing pain under new head coach Glasner. Now with a big win in the bag, Wolfsburg appear ready to take on Ukrainian side Olexandriya.
Olexandriya vs Wolfsburg – Players to look out for:
Valerii Luchkevych #17 – Olexandriya
Valerii Luchkevych is Olexandriya’s most experienced player. The right midfielder joined the club from Standard Liege this summer on a permanent deal after spending last season on loan at the club. Only 23 Luchkevych was part of the Dnipro side that reached the Europa League final in 2015. Dnipro’s financial problems meant that Luchkevych had to leave the club in 2016 but after two difficult seasons in Belgium, he returned to his native country in 2018.
Wout Weghorst #9 – Wolfsburg
Wout Weghorst is Wolfsburg’s dangerman. The Dutch striker has been involved in 61% of Wolfsburg’s goals this season. A typical center-forward, Weghorst has scored nine goals and three assists in 18 games across all competitions this season. With Wolfsburg likely starting in a 3-4-3 formation once again, look out for Weghorst to anchor the attack.
Olexandriya vs Wolfsburg – Match Stats
- Olexandriya’s home record in Europe is W1 D2 L2, with four goals scored and seven conceded.
- The German club are competing in the UEFA Europa League group stage for a second time, their 2014/15 campaign having ended in the quarter-finals at the hands of Napoli.
- Wolfsburg had never previously faced Ukrainian opponents in UEFA competition, nor had Olexandriya come against a club from Germany, until Matchday 1, when goals from Maximilian Arnold, Admir Mehmedi and Josip Brekalo helped the German side to a 3-1 home win.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Olexandriya vs Wolfsburg – 1-1
Olexandriya vs. Wolfsburg – Lineups
Casteels – Bruma, Brooks, Knoche – Roussillon, Arnold, Guilavogui, William – Brekalo, Weghorst, João Victor
Head Coach: Oliver Glasner
Bilyk – Miroshnichenko, Bukhal, Dubra, Pashaiev – Hrechyshkin – Tretyakov, Kovalets, Banada – Luchkevych – Bezborodko
Head Coach: Volodymyr Sharan
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.