In the absence of his international players, Markus Gisdol used the game to experiment tactically. He sent his side, one with three U19 players and Kingsley Schindler from the U23 squad, in an unusual 4-2-3-1 formation instead of the usual 4-4-2. Also on the pitch: Bruno Nazario. The young Brazilian impressed during the first half with his play, and kept eyes on him with his tackling.
Gisdol tried Stefan Thesker in the centre of defence and played Tobias Strobl at right back in the first half. Before the interval, Hoffenheim had the better chances but it remained goalless at the break. In the 52nd minute, Sebastian Rudy played through Kingsley Schindler. The youngster chipped the ball into the area, leaving Firmino with a simple tap-in. Rudy was also involved in the second, as he crossed from the right for Tobias Strobl to leap and head into the far corner.
Although both teams attempted a number of tactical variations, there were still quite a few strong players on the field during the international break. For Hoffenheim, Andreas Beck, Rudy, Firmino and Jannik Vestergaard were all involved. Stuttgart had the likes of Cristian Molinaro, Cacau, Georg Niedermeier, Karim Haggui, Tunay Torun and Sercan Sararer playing.