In both of their matches against 1. FC Köln this season, VfB have managed to keep a clean sheet, drawing 0-0 earlier in the reverse fixture and then racking up a 3-0 win at home last time out. One player whose efforts helped to ensure that the opponents came away empty-handed was the ever-competitive Konstantinos Mavropanos.
The Greece international won 85% of his duels against Köln, putting him top of that particular category on the day for Stuttgart. “We’d been talking recently about how we needed to maintain our focus throughout the 90 minutes,” the centre-back said. “Against Köln, we proved that we can keep a clean sheet if we maintain our concentration and everyone does their job. You could also see that every player has an important role and that each individual can give us extra impetus. The Köln game was an important one for us and the win will give us a lot of belief.”
Saturday (kick-off at 18:30 CET) sees VfB travel to Gelsenkirchen to face basement boys Schalke 04. “The Schalke match is another crucial one for us. We’re going there to do all we possibly can to get the three points. Another win would give us an added confidence boost,” said Mavropanos.