SO FAR THIS season
Three points from two games – not a bad start for a newly-promoted team. VfL kick off their Bundesliga 2 campaign with an unfortunate 3-1 home loss to Heidenheim, despite taking a 1-0 lead. They followed that up with a 1-0 win in Sandhausen on matchday 2, earning them their first three points of the season. After the DFB-Pokal weekend, they return to league action a week on Monday against Darmstadt.
Osnabrück stormed their way through the 3. Liga in 2018/19, picking up 76 points from their 38 games, finishing well ahead of Karlsruhe (71) and Wehen Wiesbaden (70). VfL were promoted to the second division for the first time in eight years.
Daniel Thioune is Osnabrück born and bred. The head coach with Senaglese roots was born only 10 kilometers away and spent most of his playing career at VfL (65 goals in 170 games). His first coaching role was with Osnabrück’s U17s and then their U19s, before he was promoted to head coach of the first team in November 2017.
Currently, the 45-year-old is the only black head coach in the top three divisions in Germany. He also earned his coaching badges alongside Julian Nagelsmann.
Kevin Wolze is by far the most experienced player in the Osnabrück squad, with 151 appearances in the second division under his belt. The VfL Wolfsburg youth product spent eight years at MSV Duisburg before moving to the Bremer Brücke this summer. However, in the opening league match of the season against Heidenheim, the 29-year-old was sent off after a second bookable offence and was suspended for matchday 2 against Heidenheim. Wolze is now eligible to play again in the DFB-Pokal though.
Osnabrück's recent win against Sandhausen was mostly thanks to Marcos Alvarez. Despite only being brough on as a substitute in the 74th minute, the German-Spaniard netted the winner just five minutes later to earn VfL their first points of the season. The 27-year-old was a regular in the recent 3. Liga campaign, finishing as the club's top scorer with 11 goals. He's been limited to appearances off the bench so far this term, but has already demonstrated his efficienty in front of goal.
Marc Heider played for VfL at youth level and also turned pro at his beloved Osnabrück. However, he left for ten years, playing for at Werder Bremen and Holstein Kiel, before returning to Osnabrück in 2016. Now, the 33-year-old wears the captain’s armband and is a key player at the club.
The 2013/14 3. Liga campaign provide the only league meetings between Die Roten Bullen and Osnabrück. Both teams won their home game - VfL won 3-2 with Heidinger and Poulsen scoring for RBL, while Leipzig secured a 1-0 victory at the Red Bull Arena courtesy of Frahn.
The third and most memorable of the sides' meetings was in August 2015, also in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Osnabrück were 1-0 up before the referee was hit by a lighter thrown by Osnabrück fans in the 71st minute. The match was abandoned, with RBL then being awarded a 2-0 victory.