Wolfsburg (dpa) – A walk in the Europa League is really not for VfL Wolfsburg. Already in the 2-0 (1-0) victory over the Ukrainian outsider Desna Tschernihiw, the Bundesliga club had unexpected difficulties.
In the third and final qualifying round, exactly a week later, there is an opponent who played against Bayern Munich in the Champions League two years ago: AEK Athens, the 2018 Greek champion. UEFA has, at least in the qualifying matches, no spectators in Leaving stadiums in this case is pretty good news for VfL. Because against Bayern, AEK was supported by more than 60,000 fans in the pre-Corona period.
“We’ll play the game in Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Sunday, and then we’ll fly there,” said VfL professional Maximilian Arnold. “Of course we want to come home with a good result. We really want to enter the group stage.”
Thursday, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday: This constant alternation between European Cup and Bundesliga matches will bring the Wolfsburg team at least until Christmas when they qualify for one of the Europa League pools of four, like last year. But this stressful schedule is also one of the reasons why coach Oliver Glasner made the tough performance against Chernihiv seem rather mild. “I am very happy that we made it and that we also played the next game in this three-day rhythm to zero,” he said. That was the last time against FK Kukesi (4-0) and Bayer Leverkusen (0-0).
Glasner already emphasized last season that many opponents in the Europa League are often underestimated. Ukrainian football, for example, has “good teams and good players,” said the Austrian. “Shakhtar Donetsk has reached the semi-finals in the Europa League, Dynamo Kiev is about to go to the Champions League.” He also had to compliment “Chernihiv. They are a very well organized team.” Only Josuha Guilavogui (16th minute) and Daniel Ginczek (90th + 2) managed against them.
AEK Athens will have a lot more quality and experience than the Ukrainians in the coming week. “There are no easy games in Europe,” said VfL captain Guilavogui.