|Both Coaches worked together some years ago.|
46 times meet both teams each other but 42 of these games were in 1.Bundesliga what make clear that both teams have a long tradition. Of course both are aiming for a better future and maybe for a return into 1.Bundesliga. The home side Fortuna is far away from this after having a lot of trouble last Season and avoid relegation very close in the end while Stuttgart is the absolutely top favorite who must be beaten this Season. But almost all teams are very hot and motivated against them therefore they have to handle the pressure if they want to make the goal possible.
What they can expect saw they already in the first game against St. Pauli where they had a lot of problems above all in first half. They had to come from behind after conceding an early goal and had a lot of luck not to fall behind more as St. Pauli played great and had 2-3 more excellent attempts but wasted it. In second half Stuttgart was better in the game above all Maxim makes the difference after he came in. He was the man with the equalizer and his good actions to push the team what was rewarded with the 2-1 short before the end.
It was almost the same to Fortuna when they had an incredible weak first half to Sandhausen and was down 0-2 after 12 minutes. Ok, they had a better second half and could equalize in the end but it was also a bit lucky as Sandhausen stop playing after the 2 goals lead.
For Fortuna Coach Funkel is clear that they are not the favorite today. He said that they have not the quality and squad like Stuttgart and therefore they must put all available power into the game if they want to have a chance here or get a positive result out of this encounter. Of course he said this in an interview but with his team he talked a bit different and let them know that if all work they can make a surprise against the top favorite of the league above all in their own stadium.
Compared to the game in Sandhausen he has some problems in defensive because with Bodzek and Madlung are two players slight injured. A bit question mark behind captain Bodzek who scored the important first goal in Sandhausen with a shot outside the box. If he must pass the first guy who replace him in midfield is Sobottka. Defender Madlung could not train to begin of the week but they have hope to get him ready for today. If all are ready Funkel should not changes to much although Bebou and Iyoha were very weak that he can think about some changes on this positions. Ngombo and Ritter can be the possible replacements here but it is not out yet if. For sure not available is Yildirim who got injured huge against Sandhausen and is out longer now.
The squad from Stuttgart is not complete so far because Coach Luhukay has still some wishes and the optimal starting lineup is not there for him right now. He has to work with the same squad he had on Monday. With Baumgartl and Großkreutz he misses still some options for the starting lineup injured. On the other side should be new signing from FC Augsburg Werner back in the squad today after missing the first match due to private reasons.
After putting on a very unexperienced young offensive line with both wings Heise and Özcan it can be that Luhukay changes on 2 of the 3 offense positions today. One of them can be Werner on the wing and also Maxim who was on bench against St. Pauli but made a lot of self advertising after he came in at half time. Both can bring a lot more power in the offensive play from VfB as the youngsters and can put the quality on a excellent level. Above all Terodde can hope to take profit from both experienced players in the box.
But for Luhukay is more important that he has a good balanced team on the pitch and not the quality of each player. They must be a team and play like this what brings success in the end anyway.