Focus will be on strikers as Canaries defender is reunited with Wolfsburg
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:35 19 July 2018
Both teams will be looking for evidence of fresh goal-scoring threats from new signings when Norwich City take on Wolfsburg in the final game of their tour of Germany this afternoon.
While the Canaries have brought in Jordan Rhodes and Teemu Pukki in an attempt to pep up the attack, their friendly opponents are facing a similar challenge.
Wolfsburg have survived the Bundesliga relegation play-off in each of the last two campaigns, representing quite a fall from grace for the 2009 champions, who reached the Champions League quarter-finals as recently as 2016.
Head coach Bruno Labbadia arrived in February and just about kept the Wolves in the top flight, courtesy of a 4-1 home win over already-relegated Cologne and a 4-1 aggregate play-off triumph over Holsten Kiel.
They have since lost 10-goal top scorer top scorer Daniel Didavi to Stuttgart on a free transfer and fellow forward Divock Origi, who scored seven goals in 33 league games while on loan from Liverpool.
Two new strikers have arrived in their place for around £9million apiece, Wout Weghorst from AZ Alkmaar and Daniel Ginczek from Stuttgart. Weghorst scored as fourth-tier side Lupo Martini were beaten 3-0 on Saturday, following on from a 7-0 win over KSV Baunatal and an 8-1 thumping of Veltins-Selection, with Ginczek scoring a brace in both of those games against local sides. Today’s game (5pm) against City at August Wenzel Stadium Platz 1 in Barsinghausen – east of Hanover – represents a step up in challenge.
It also sets up a reunion for Canaries defender Timm Klose, who played for Wolfsburg for two-and-a-half seasons before joining City for around £7.5m in January 2016.
The Switzerland centre-back made 43 appearances and was team-mates with players including Kevin De Bruyne and Ivan Perisic, who have just starred at the World Cup with Belgium and Croatia respectively. Germany internationals Julian Draxler and Andre Schurrle were also team-mates, with Klose helping the Wolves finish runners-up in the Bundesliga and to beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in the DFB Pokal in 2015 – as well as reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
Wolfsburg averaged 25,713 at their 30,000 capacity Volkswagen Arena last season, the second lowest average in the Bundesliga but only very slightly below the 25,785 average at Carrow Road last season, although today’s game is being played at a much smaller venue in Barsinghausen.