Wolfsburg look to stay on top

23rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 September 2004 , HAMBURG - Surprise leaders VfL Wolfsburg will be looking to continue their strong start to the Bundesliga season when they take on inconsistent Kaiserslautern at the weekend. The unfashionable north German club sits on 12 points after five matches, a point clear of VfB Stuttgart and three ahead of champions Werder Bremen. Kaiserslautern have won twice in the league so far this season but went out of the German cup in midweek, losing on penalties to Schalke 04. Coach Kurt Jara was booed

24 September 2004

HAMBURG - Surprise leaders VfL Wolfsburg will be looking to continue their strong start to the Bundesliga season when they take on inconsistent Kaiserslautern at the weekend.

The unfashionable north German club sits on 12 points after five matches, a point clear of VfB Stuttgart and three ahead of champions Werder Bremen.

Kaiserslautern have won twice in the league so far this season but went out of the German cup in midweek, losing on penalties to Schalke 04. Coach Kurt Jara was booed by a group of fans for some of his substitutions during the game, leaving him fuming.

"I'm no longer prepared to swallow everything just to keep my job," said Jara, who took over the post in February of this year.

"I'm doing honest work here, which should finally be accepted," he said.

Club chairman Rene Jaeggi supported his under-fire coach, calling the criticism "unbelievable", while also dismissing calls for former player and current SV Hamburg coach Klaus Toppmoeller to be offered the position.

Jara caused fury among Kaiserslautern fans when he substituted Jochen Seitz, replacing him with subsequent goalscorer Selim Teber. A section of fans also called for the introduction of Ferydoon Zandi long before Jara finally sent him on.

Jara would not be the first coaching casualty of the new season. Last week Jupp Heynkes was sacked by Schalke.

Stuttgart slipped up against 10-man Hertha Berlin last week, managing only a goalless draw, and coach Matthias Sammer's side will have to be at its best against fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Sammer will be without striker Kevin Kuranyi, Fernando Meira, Boris Zivkovic and long-term injury victim Marco Streller for the visit of Leverkusen.

German international Kuranyi and Portuguese defender Meira are out until the end of October with ligament injuries while Zivkovic may need a shin operation before he returns.

Bayern Munich welcome mid-table SC Freiburg to the Munich Olympic stadium, looking to close the four-point gap to Wolfsburg.

Team captain and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is expected to make his return after he missed the cup win over VfL Osnabrueck with a stomach bug.

Coach Felix Magath is almost certain to continue with Claudio Pizarro and Roy Makaay up front. Both scored in the 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund last weekend and repeated the feat in the victory over Osnabrueck, with Pizarro netting twice.

There appears to be still no place for midfielder Sebastian Deisler, who has recovered from depression but was dropped following a string of poor performances, especially in the Champions League defeat of Maccabi Tel Aviv, when the 24-year-old was substituted just after half-time.

Bremen travel to VfL Bochum full of confidence following last week's 3-0 defeat of Hanover and a 3-2 win over Leverkusen in the cup in midweek.

Coach Thomas Schaaf started with the exact same 11 in both games which could mean German international Miroslav Klose will once again start from the bench against Bochum.

In other games Saturday, second from bottom Arminia Bielefeld travel to Nuremberg while Borussia Moenchengladbach welcome Hansa Rostock.

Sunday sees Hamburg against Hertha and newly promoted Mainz hosting Dortmund.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

0 Comments To This Article