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VfB Stuttgart vs. Borussia Dortmund: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV InfoTHOMAS KIENZLE/Getty ImagesVfB Stuttgart host Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 31 of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season on Saturday. The match is much more important for the hosts than the Black and Yellows, seeing as a poor run of form—only two wins from their last 10 league games—has put them back into a relegation battle many thought the Swabians had left behind a few weeks ago: Stuttgart are 15th in the table, only two points ahead of Werder Bremen in the relegation-play-off spotHead coach Jurgen Kramny, who took over in late November and promptly lost his first match in charge against Dortmund 4-1, is optimistic his team can fight their way out of the danger zone, per the club's official website: "We are ready to face the current situation and defend ourselves.
Filip Kostic has arguably been Stuttgart's best player this season. NORBERT SCHMIDT/Getty ImagesAs for Dortmund, it's difficult to point out one specific player without knowing Tuchel's lineup plans. It would be interesting to see how Pulisic follows up on his best performance and first goal at the senior level against Hamburg on the previous matchday, for example. Adrian Ramos, who is likely to lead to the line in the absence of Aubameyang, will look to improve on his impressive numbers in 2016:WhoScored. com @WhoScoredAdrián Ramos: Has averaged a goal every 82. 7 mins in the Bundesliga in 2016 #BVBHSVKey BattleJurgen Kramny vs.
It’s all about giving it full-throttle, fighting and showing a united front. We are approaching the tasks ahead positively and we firmly believe we can get some positive results. "The game is of little significance for the Black and Yellows, whose focus solely lies on the DFB-Pokal final against Bayern Munich on May 21. They have nothing to play for in the Bundesliga, having already clinched a second-place finish weeks ago.
Players such as Matthias Ginter, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Erik Durm, Nuri Sahin or Moritz Leitner, all of whom didn't feature in the cup, could get the nod in the starting XI, while 17-year-olds Felix Passlack and Christian Pulisic could return to the lineup as well. Predicted Starting XI: Burki; Ginter, Sokratis, Hummels, Passlack; Sahin, Durm, Leitner; Mkhitaryan, Ramos, Pulisic. Players to WatchOne player whose individual performances haven't suffered too much during Stuttgart's poor run of form is left-winger Filip Kostic. The Serbian attacker has the pace and technical abilities to pose problems to any right-back in the league. Having scored and assisted four goals each in the "Ruckrunde, " as Germans call the second half of the season, the 23-year-old has been his side's most consistent danger man.
A loss against Stuttgart will mean Bayern win the title with a win at Hertha BSC, so Dortmund may try to delay the inevitable. Saturday's visitors have won twice against the Swabians this season already—the aforementioned 4-1 in the league and a 3-1 away win in the cup in February—and haven't lost against them since January 2010. This is their longest such run in the Bundesliga, according to Thursday's edition of German sport magazine Kicker. Although some of the recent meetings were quite scrappy, Dortmund usually got the better of Stuttgart.
Thomas TuchelThe tactical battle between the two head coaches should be interesting. Last time the two sides met, Dortmund deviated from their usual, dominant possession-based playing style, as Tuchel put Durm and Aubameyang on the wing, with Reus as the centre-forward. The Black and Yellows widened the pitch and, to a degree, conceded possession to the Swabians, practically eliminating the threat of counter-attacks. The coaching battle could determine the outcome on Matchday 31. THOMAS KIENZLE/Getty ImagesThat was, however, during a time in which Stuttgart were the in-form team of German football, as they came off five straight wins in the league. This time, the hosts are limping in the league and likely lacking confidence.
Borussia Dortmund vs. VfB Stuttgart: probable teams, match Can Jude Bellingham get Borussia Dortmund back to winning ways in the VfB Stuttgart: probable teams, match stats and LIVE