Stuttgart vs RB Leipzig

MHPArena hosts a high-stakes Bundesliga top-four six-pointer between Stuttgart and RB Leipzig.

Stuttgart’s unbelievable Bundesliga start imposed them as potential top-four candidates after avoiding relegation to the second tier by the skin of their teeth last season. However, unable to cope with the absence of headline striker Serhou Guirassy, Sebastian Hoeness’ men have fallen out of form lately, clocking up just a single victory in their last five league matches (D1, L3). Already 14 points off table-topping Bayer Leverkusen, ‘Die Schwaben’ have waved goodbye to their faint title hopes, but a long-awaited top-four finish remains on the cards. With Guirassy’s 17-goal tally accounting for 45% of Stuttgart’s Bundesliga goals this term, it was barely a surprise that they lost 1-0 to Bochum last weekend. Since they’ve gone winless in both home league fixtures without the Guinea international in the starting line-up (W7, D1, L1), Guirassy’s talismanic presence will be missed here.

If there’s a side capable of punishing any lack of concentration, it’s Lezipig, even though back-to-back defeats to kick off the new calendar year speak otherwise. Marco Rose’s troops have compromised their top-four pursuit with two straight home losses, suggesting a game outside the Red Bull Arena could be a welcome distraction. Adding to this sentiment, they’ve gone unbeaten on their last two Bundesliga travels (W1, D1) after breaking the deadlock on each occasion. Another quick-fire start will be needed if the visitors are to return to winning ways, considering they’ve lost all three away league matches after conceding the opening goal this season. They can at least draw confidence from going unbeaten in all five previous Bundesliga H2Hs at the MHPArena (W3, D2).

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