VfB Stuttgart vs. FC Schalke 04
Saturday, March 5th 2011, 15.30 CET
This one will surely be an interesting game to see, although the teams are not Bundesliga’s top teams. VfB Stuttgart, placed 17th in Bundesliga (out of 18 teams) is receiving FC Schalke 04, placed 10th. Let’s see where these teams come from:
VfB Stuttgart prepares its game home after a 0-2 away win against Eintracht Frankfurt (13) 6 days ago in Bundesliga. Although the win was somewhat predictable, it gave them a good morale and a lot of time to prepare the meeting with Schalke 04. They can’t be comfortable on the 17th place, so they will desperately try to win this one, helped by their fans at home.
The last games of VfB Stuttgart weren’t the best: although they come after an away win (which is great, since the team is way more comfortable home than away), they blew the double with Benfica in Europa Cup, losing 2-1 in Portugal and 0-2 in Germany. Note that they didn’t draw any of their last 6 games!
VfB Stuttgart faces some injuries, and some pretty major ones:
- Jeronimo Cacau, who is unlikely to play.
- Thomas Hajnal, out with a calf strain on Wednesday.
- Mathieu Delpierre, the captain, was suspended for three matches.
They are clearly not in their best shape, but their morale and motivation are high enough to overturn Schalke 04, a team which didn’t go home since their game in Munich.
FC Schalke 04, now this is an interesting team: they’re on the 10th place in Bundesliga, with many saying it’s been underperforming this season. They did beat Bayern Munich though: 3 days ago they won 0-1 in Munich! That must be a great morale booster for the team. After beating Munich, the team has now reached the final of the DFB Pokal, where they’ll face Duisburg (Bundesliga 2) in May. A win there and they’re in the Europa League next season!
However, the team hasn’t been home since their trip to Munich on March 2nd. After their won, the coach Felix Magath took them directly to Stuttgart to train for the next game. He may be right to do so, since the games are 3 days apart. But this leaves the team rather tired and already satisfied with their performance. Even if they go home with one or none points from Stuttgart, at least they beat Munich, and they’re place is not that bad in Bundesliga. Christoph Metzelder, FC Schalke 04’s captain said the team wants to confirm the earlier victory in Munich also in Stuttgart, so they’re not going to take a break.
FC Schalke 04 will pretty much start with the same team they did in Munich. One player is missing though:
- Klaas Jan Huntelaar, the team’s Dutch goalscorer was injured at the knee in one of the team’s trainings.
There is some hope for VfB Stuttgart: the team below them, Borussia M’gladbach beat Schalke 04 2-1 at home on February 20th. And Schalke’s last game in Bundesliga wasn’t so great, with only a draw against Nuremberg.
The bookies are favouring VfB Stuttgart, but the odds difference is not that big. I would go for a tie at 3.4 (Bwin) for 4 units. Fingers crossed! 🙂
Prediction: DRAW for 4 Units