VfB head coach Bruno Labbadia must do without two players for the evening match at Schalke: Serhou Guirassy is still unavailable following his adductor tear, while Pascal Stenzel is also out with a minor muscle strain. However, Tiago Tomas has returned to full training this week. “He’s an option for the bench on Saturday,” confirmed Labbadia.
Positive competition for places
Fabian Bredlow will continue to keep goal following another “very good week in training” and his performance in the last match. “Fabian looked very solid against Köln; he was commanding, assured, willing to receive the ball and exuded calm,” praised Labbadia.
The VfB boss was also positive in his assessment of how January signings Genki Haraguchi and Gil Dias have fitted in: “Genki knows the Bundesliga, he’s match-fit and has a very good attitude – that was noticeable from day one. He’s communicative, discusses things and sometimes also takes a teammate to one side. Gil has already scored twice for us. Both are positive additions.”
Against Schalke, it’s now about taking the enthusiasm and desire from the win over Köln to Gelsenkirchen. “There’s no substitute for wins,” said Labbadia. “The feeling of being able to win is very positive. That said, we have an intense match ahead of us on Saturday evening.” The Stuttgart coach is expecting a home side who have been “solid” since the winter break, with the Royal Blues drawing 0-0 in each of their last four Bundesliga games.