Schweini praises CL opponents Wolfsburg

World Cup-winner and Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger praised opponents VfL Wolfsburg on Tuesday ahead of their Champions League clash with his new club Manchester United on Wednesday night.

Schweini praises CL opponents Wolfsburg
Bastian Schweinsteiger training with teammates at Manchester United on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

“They're really good. Especially in the last two or three years, they've really developed themselves further,” Schweinsteiger said in comments posted to the Man U website.

“Along with Bayern and Dortmund, they are among the three best teams in Germany.”

Schweinsteiger's words will be welcomed in Wolfsburg, where the Wolves suffered a 5-1 battering by Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich last week, with striker Robert Lewandowski hitting the net five times in nine minutes.

“If you look at the whole game, then it could well have finished another way,” the midfielder said of that fateful night.

Wolfsburg is Volkswagen's company town, but Schweinsteiger said he was sure that the past week of revelations about the auto giant wouldn't distract the footballers on the pitch.

“Of course they've got Volkswagen behind them, but they have a good team with a good coach” in Dieter Hecking, he said.

Wednesday's encounter falls six years to the day after the two clubs first met, also in the Champions League.

On that occasion the English side came out on top, winning 2-1.

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Zlatan pushes for Man Utd starting spot against Brighton

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make his first Manchester United start this Saturday, seven months after his career-threatening knee injury.

Zlatan pushes for Man Utd starting spot against Brighton
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back from his knee injury. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA via AP

The striker enjoyed an impressive first season at Old Trafford following his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in July 2016, only for it to be cut short by cruciate knee ligament damage sustained in a Europa League quarter-final victory over Anderlecht in April.

Both Ibrahimovic and defend Marcos Rojo, who suffered a similar injury in the same match, have now fully recovered from their injuries and could play a key role as United host Brighton in the Premier League this weekend.

Former Sweden international Ibrahimovic, 36, has appeared as a substitute in each of United's past two matches, coming on as Newcastle were beaten 4-1 at Old Trafford last Saturday, and again on Wednesday in a 1-0 Champions League defeat by Basel in Switzerland.

Brighton manager Christ Hughton is expecting the United side to be rejigged and is not ruling out José Mourinho's men for the title, even though they are eight points adrift of Manchester City.

“Without being detrimental to the other teams in the top six, most people see the two Manchester teams as the strongest,” he said. “Both have recruited very well and have big star players.”

“Ibrahimovic and certainly Pogba are a massive boost for them to have back at this stage of the season. They are both big teams and are showing that.”