The pressure has at least eased somewhat at VfB Stuttgart over the last week. The Swabians benefited from their relegation rivals Bochum and Schalke dropping points, which – combined with their own 4-1 victory in Mainz – means they will go into the final day of the season in 15th position and with their survival in their own hands. In another turbulent season that has seen four coaches in the dugout, staying up would be a welcome ending.
Former Hoffenheim head coach Sebastian Hoeness took over the reins at VfB after Matchday 26 – Stuttgart were bottom of the table at that point. But the results have been right under the 41-year-old, with VfB losing only one of their seven matches.
A victory on Saturday would mean the Swabians would no longer need to worry about results elsewhere, but Bochum and Schalke could overtake them if they drop points. Every outcome is possible for VfB on Saturday – from survival to the relegation/promotion play-off to automatic relegation. "We are following our own approach and only focusing on ourselves," said Sebastian Hoeness at the press conference. "We'll of course be informed about the scores in the other games and will react to certain situations – but in the best-case scenario we won't need to do that."
Stuttgart are likely to be able to once again call upon two important defensive players who have been absent recently. Central defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, who played just under 20 minutes in Mainz after overcoming a shin injury, is fully available again, while left-back Borna Sosa has recovered from the inflammation in his mouth and throat and is also in contention once more. Dan-Axel Zagadou, meanwhile, is likely to miss out.
Last season, VfB only managed to secure their survival in final-day injury time – under the leadership of current TSG head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo.