Stuttgart vs Hoffenheim by Gustav
Stuttgart got defeated with a 2:1 result last weekend away from home against Augsburg. Hosts entered the game scoring in sixth minute due to a huge error from the central defenders of Stuttgart, while the visitors took initiative later on, but without much success failing in their creativity. They conceded the second goal in 36th minute from a set piece, but reduced the deficit from a penalty spot in 42nd minute.
Even though they scored a goal just before the half-time whistle and had a good atmosphere after that, they failed to improve in the second half, remain harmless without creating good opportunities. With ten players, as Traore god red carded in 70th minute, things didn't go better and Stuttgart was fairly beaten. For the fourth consecutive match of the season coach Bruno Labbadia changed the tactics, but without much results and after the game in Augsburg the club's management sacked him. Thomas Schneider overtook the team, but they didn't look much better in a 2:2 draw against Rijeka last Thursday that cost them of Europa League group stage. Their performances looked good in the offense, however once again they paid the price of huge errors in the center of defense. Image of the team was improved, but despite two defensive midfielders in the team, they had no stability and confidence all over the game.
Left midfielder Traore (3/0) is suspended for this game, while the hosts are still without two key central defenders Tasci and Niedermeier who are still not fit from their injuries. Midfielder Didavi, Rojas and Audel are also sidelined with injuries from the start of the season.
Hoffenheim, on the other hand, is coming from a 3:3 draw at home against Freiburg last weekend. They started very well, scoring from a penalty in tenth minute, staying at the same minute with a player less as striker Salihovic got the red card, while the game became chaotic after that. They were constantly under pressure, but still managed to get a point out of the game that had no tactical stability during the rest of eighty minutes.
Coach Markus Gisdol said that he was pleased with his offensive players, but at the same time disappointed with the way they defended, especially in the defensive part of the midfield. Adding that they should have done much better, as their opponent stood with a player less from the end of the first half-time too. Anyhow, team has now a victory and two draws, being the best attack in the league as they have scored ten goals in three matches, coming from 5:1 victory over Hamburg, but also a 2:2 draw at home against Nurnberg. Guests will be without midfielder Salihovic (3/1) due his red card, while defensive midfielder Rudy (1/0) is not fully fit. In the attacking line, coach Gridsol has no reasons to change anything and will be lining up the same players that started first three matches.
Stuttgart is slowly playing much better in the offense, but still without confidence at the back. Under such circumstances, it won't be hard for Hoffenheim to score too, making this game very open, probably with more than three goals scored.