1. FC Köln: Despite defeat on Sunday to Eintracht Frankfurt, Markus Gisdol’s charges have picked up pace in recent weeks. Since the loss to Freiburg, FC have managed to collect 10 of 18 points on offer, including a first home win of the season against Arminia Bielefeld and the derby day victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The goal is to now make it back-to-back home wins.
VfB Stuttgart: After a superb start, VfB have been in the middle of the pack for the past seven matchdays. Stuttgart are currently 10th, having one just once in their last six games. That was against Mainz and was their first home win this season. After a remarkable away run of form, four away defeats from their last five outings mean that Pellegrino Matarazzo’s men want to put things right.
Markus Gisdol: “Stuttgart got off to a super start this season and are playing great football. Even if they haven't earned points as regularly recently, they are dangerous. Therefore, we're on our guard. Stuttgart play a completely different game to Frankfurt. But we still learned a lot from that match.”
Pellegrino Matarazzo: “Köln are in good form, even when they lost against a strong Frankfurt side. They defend compactly and can close the spaces well. Going forward, they have a good mix. We’re still looking for points. On Saturday, we have the chance for three points and to make the next step.”
1. FC Köln: Florian Kainz and Sebastian Andersson are still working hard on their rehab. Sebastiaan Bornauw is certain to miss the game as he awaits an operation. Marius Wolf, Ismail Jakobs and Ondrej Duda should be fit in time, though Jonas Hector remains absent.
VfB Stuttgart: Pellegrino Matarazzo has been able to welcome back Gonzalo Castro into training this week and the midfielder looks set to be an option for the game. Marc-Oliver Kempf and Daniel Didavi are also fit, though Nicolas Gonzalez remains sidelined through injury.
Silas Wamangituka has been lighting up the right side for VfB Stuttgart this season. The winger combines pace and power with unpredictable dribbling and a powerful shot, leaving defenders always on the back foot. The DR Congo-born forward has managed an impressive 11 goals and three assists so far, including some incredible individual efforts.
This fixture has not been one for home wins in recent years. Since the turn of the millennium, there have been just two victories at home for the respective teams. Stuttgart’s was more recent and came back in 2017-18, but for FC? That’s back to the old Müngersdorfer Stadion, as Dirk Lottner got the winner for Ewald Lienen’s side in October 2000.
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