On the last Bundesliga matchday of the season, VfB Stuttgart is expecting 1. FC Köln this Saturday in the sold-out Mercedes-Benz Arena – with this line-up.
VfB Stuttgart is worried about Hiroki Ito before the league final. The Japanese has calf problems and only started full team training on Friday. Nevertheless, coach Pellegrino Matarazzo expects the defender to play against 1. FC Köln this Saturday (3:30 p.m.). However, that is not certain – and a failure would mean that Matarazzo would have to rebuild the defense.
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The coach has to do without Philipp Förster, who has gastrointestinal problems. Daniel Didavi should also not be an option for the important game against the Rhinelanders due to his Achilles tendon problems. With a win, VfB could secure their place in the Bundesliga if Hertha BSC loses in Dortmund at the same time. Otherwise there is a risk of relegation.
In order to avoid the play-offs against the second division third party as far as possible, the Stuttgart team want to stop Cologne’s attacking vortex around goalscorer Anthony Modeste. “He’s a header monster,” says Matarazzo. At the same time, it’s about playing forward yourself. With Omar Marmoush in the starting XI, bringing pace up front, or Orel Mangala bringing more control in midfield?