LOOK AHEAD: VfB Stuttgart


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Last weekend was fun, but it’s time to move on to our next chance of three points. On Saturday, VfL face VfB Stuttgart. The Swabians are looking to gain ground on us. They’re four points away from the safety. So, let’s LOOK AHEAD to #VfBBOC:


In the past Bundesliga season, the new generation of “Junge Wilden” – based on Stuttgart’s successful team of the 2000s – impressed with their cheeky way of playing, style and attractive football. Sasa Kalajdzic, for example, or Silas, to name just two of the many talented players for them. This season, however, the Stuttgart Express has yet to really get going. For example, both of the aforementioned attackers have missed large parts of the season so far due to injury. VfB’s most successful scorers to date have come from the defensive area. Konstantinos Mavropanos (4 goals) and Marc-Oliver Kempf (3), although the latter now plays for Hertha BSC in the capital. Those responsible around sports director Sven Mislintat had to react, and they did. The Portuguese Tiago Tomas, 19 years old, is now the striker in Baden-Württemberg. He’s looking good and his start was promising, most recently Tiago Tomas scored twice against Leverkusen. We are warned, but we are not blinded by the 18 points collected so far by VfB anyway.


Pellegrino Matarazzo has been in charge as head coach at VfB Stuttgart since December 2019, when he succeeded Tim Walter. “We chose him because we are convinced that we can achieve both our short-term and medium- to long-term goals with him,” outgoing CEO Thomas Hitzlsperger once explained when introducing the new coach. The 43-year-old was quickly able to cross the short-term goal off his to-do list: Under his leadership, the Swabians were promoted directly back to the Bundesliga. In his first full season in Stuttgart, the American with Italian roots managed to stay in the league early on and stabilised the club in mid-table. Before joining VfB, Matarazzo was Julian Nagelsmann’s assistant coach at Hoffenheim, and before that he was a youth coach at TSG and 1. FC Nürnberg. As a player himself, he played for our neighbours Wattenscheid 09, among others. Now Matarazzo faces the challenging task of making the necessary turnaround. The gap to the relegation spot and 15th place has grown to four points. Everything is still doable, no question.


The head to heads between VfL Bochum 1848 and VfB Stuttgart promises one thing above all: plenty of goals. Exactly 221 goals have been scored in 75 matches so far. Actually, we don’t want to promise too much, because: Of all things, the last match ended goalless. In the first leg at home, we drew 0-0, which was definitely a step in the right direction for us at the time, because just a few days earlier we had to accept the highest defeat in a match in the history of the blue and white team. A long time ago, and that these times can no longer be compared with the present just half a year later was shown once again the previous week. So, off to Stuttgart we go – let’s have it!


LOOK AHEAD: VfB Stuttgart

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