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Are Wolfsburg Invincible?

Monday 14th January 2019

Wolfsburg’s women’s team is to the Frauen-Bundesliga what Bayern Munich were to the men’s league under Pep Guardiola. Unplayable and a joy to watch. Atop the table by five points, they threaten to go full Arsenal with an Invincible season. They also come up against their Champions League nemeses of the past three years, Lyon, in that competition's quarterfinal round.

With 13 league games played, die Wolfinnen claim 11 wins and two draws. In November they easily handled Forsten then pounded Sand. In both matches, the final score read 9-0. In all competitions, they routed opponents by a 58-0 aggregate until Duisburg finally found twine against them on 4 November. It wasn't until 5 December that the opposition took a point from them. That was Potsdam. Eleven days later, SGS Essen finally recorded a clean sheet against them in another draw. Going into the winter break, Wolfsburg's for and against tallies read 88-5. On Friday, they kept in shape with a 5-0 victory over Dutch side Twente Enschede. Their season resumes on 17 February when they visit Bayern but friendlies against Sporting CP and Frankfurt come first.

You can forget gender distinctions; the She-Wolves are footballers pure and simple. Stephan Lerch's squad won the last two league titles and four DFB Pokals as well. Obviously, they're on course to do it again. In addition, the golden boot might as well be an individual award for the Wolfsburg team. Ewa Pajor and Pernille Harder sit first and second in that table with 15 and 10 goals respectively. Harder has since been named UEFA's number one female player. The Dane is playing some extraordinary football.

The whole defence is praiseworthy. How could they not when refusing to concede for more than three months?

The club deserves praise for its commitment to the women's game. Midfielder Zsanett Jakabfi summed it up.

It feels like a family because the club takes care of us. 

The Hungarian who strives make her country famous for sport again also stressed the club treats the male and female teams equally. They are all Wolfsburg together, challenging the default feeling that VFL Wolfsburg is the men’s team and the female variation requires a ‘ladies’ or ‘women's’ suffix. Does that recognition allow them to play better? Quite possibly. The results aren't coming because they have a point to prove so maybe freedom has its rewards. 

Like Bayern on the men's side, Wolfsburg's biggest stars are foreign. All of the aforementioned players were born in different countries outside of Germany despite die Mannschaft ranking second in the FIFA Rankings. The club's priority in 2018/19 is to finally topple five-time champion Lyon from the European summit.

Before that, they must deal with Bayern who cannot be considered slouches by any stretch of the imagination. A win for Bayern opens Pandora’s box for Wolfsburg, not only throwing them into a real title race but poisoning the season’s chalice as the unbeaten moniker disintegrates before them. Wolfsburg own 35 points, Bayern 32. Wolfsburg intends to remain invincible but Bayern closed the first half with six consecutive wins, scoring 21 goals unanswered in their last three. The She-Wolves 6-0 victory in September is out the window. Pass this test and they can begin looking forward to Lyon in March. 

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Warren Smith

Yokohama F•Marinos supporter. Seen it all in the J.League, relegation fights and being crowned champions. Play five-a-side, pretty good too. Once scored an overhead kick.

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