Julian Nagelsmann on…
… the opponent.
VfB Stuttgart are a strong team with a lot of new players. They did well in the transfer market this summer which is important because it is never easy to immediately establish yourself in the Bundesliga. They have a lot of talented individuals in their squad. Hannes Wolf’s side often play in a 4-3-3 formation and their captain Christian Gentner is back in the squad. He is an extremely important player for them. Their squad is made up of a good mix between experienced and young players. They have not performed well away from home this season and we need to play well to make the most of that.
… the team news.
We are not sure if Sandro Wagner will be available for Wednesday’s game. He is still having problems with his adductor muscle and is not completely fit.
… the sporting situation.
I found it difficult to accept that we lost against Hannover because we played really well for long periods of the game, however they managed to score twice through set-pieces. Sané is a good header of the ball and did well to give Hannover the lead. We conceded the second goal too easily because we switched off. Lukas Rupp and Andrej Kramaric both came close to getting us back into the game. It was a typical case of whoever scores first wins. We did not make the most of our chances.
… more on the sporting situation.
VfB Stuttgart have had longer to prepare for Wednesday’s game because they last played on Friday. I know that it is difficult to draw up fixtures but sometimes the schedule is just crazy. I feel sorry for Freiburg who played on Sunday and now have to play again on Tuesday! There is too much expectation on us this season. We are sixth in the league and if we win on Wednesday, we only have two points less than we did at this stage last season. We are playing in Europe for the first time and are still managing to get consistent results in the league, that is something only a few clubs manage to do. We are extremely ambitious and I want to put the pressure on Bayern for the league title right up until the end of the season. We over performed last season and now we are trying to keep up with expectations. It is ridiculous that people are saying the club is in crisis. Our goal is to play just as well in the second half of the season as we have already.
The two sides have previously met 16 times in the Bundesliga. VfB Stuttgart have won half of these meetings, whilst TSG have won just four times. The teams have shared the points four times. The last time TSG lost at home to VfB Stuttgart was in February 2013, since then they have won twice and drawn once.
The opponents’ form
VfB Stuttgart have gone a few weeks without a win now. They have recently lost twice without scoring and before that drew against Hannover 96. In fact, the 1-1 draw against Hannover is the only time Hannes Wolf’s side have picked up points on the road this season.
The key battle
“Stuttgart often play defensively and will be marking our players tightly on Wednesday,” said Julian Nagelsmann at the pre-match press conference. TSG will have to work hard to create space and chances.