After a two-week break for the decisive matches of the group stage of the European qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the German Championship kicks off on Friday, October 13, on the calendar of the major national leagues of the Old Continent. Opening the eighth round of the Bundesliga 2017/2018 edition, Stuttgart host the Cologne at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. The kick-off is scheduled for 15:30 (Brasília time).
Stuttgart’s recent performance
Without winning three rounds of the German Championship (two defeats and a draw), Stuttgart took advantage of the stoppage period to hold a friendly preparatory. It did not get a result of the most animators before the little Aalen. It stayed in 2 to 2 increasing its fast of victories.
With seven points (two wins, one draw and four defeats), Stuttgart occupy the fourteenth position. It is the same score of Hamburg, sixteenth place and first in the relegation zone. Takes advantage only when tie-break criteria are used. Very little for a team that was considered a candidate to fight for places in European tournaments.
Home performance, however, is capable of giving more hope to its fans. It was in his stadium that Stuttgart managed to add up to seven points without conceding a goal. The offensive production was not the best. Only two goals were scored. But it has been enough to put the team in the tenth position of the table that takes into account only the results at home of the 18 teams that dispute the First Division of the German Championship.
To try to score again, coach Hannes Wolf will have to deal with four possible casualties. Matthias Zimmermann (two matches in the 2017/2018 season of the German Championships without a goal) and Emiliano Insua (without performances) are in the infirmary seeking to recover from injury; and Christian Gentner (four games, no goal) and Anto Grgic (no season performances).
The current form of the Colony
The situation of the Cologne, who managed to finish the previous season in the zone of classification for the Europa League, is even worse. After seven rounds, the team managed to score only once. He is in the eighteenth and last position of the Bundesliga, six points behind the first team outside the relegation zone (Freiburg).
His performance has been disastrous. With two goals scored has the least productive Bundesliga attack. Away from home he failed to score a goal in all four games. The defense has compounded the problem. With 15 goals conceded, being nine of them like visitor, is the most leaked of the current season of the German Championship.
Coach Peter Stoger has had a difficult time trying to reverse the situation. It faces a number of medical problems. One of the injured is the titular goalkeeper. Timo Horn, who played in the first seven matches of the 2017/2018 Bundesliga, suffered a hip injury and depends on a new assessment to see if he will be available for Friday’s game. If he can not act, the biggest candidate for the job is Thomas Kessler, 31, who has not played an official game since March.
Defenders Jonas Hector (three matches in the current season of the German Championship without a goal) and Nikolas Nartey (without performances) are also in the process of recovering from injury; midfielder Marcel Risse (four games, no goal); and attackers John Cordoba (seven games without a goal), Artjoms Rudnevs (no performances) and Simon Zoller (four games, no goal).
History of the bouts between Stuttgart and Cologne
The field factor was not decisive in the matches involving the teams last season. In the first round of the Bundesliga 2016/2017 in Stuttgart, the Cologne won 3-1. In the second round, at the rival’s home, Stuttgart took the best with the same score. In the current preseason, the teams held a friendly that ended tied for no goals.