Stuttgart-Lazio Preview: Both sides set sights on quarter-final berth
The Bundesliga outfit have struggled in the league this season and will be up against it when they host a Biancocelesti team among the European places in Serie A
By Jerrad Peters
Sakai, Tasci, Rudiger, Boka
Harnik, Gentner, Holzhauser, Traore
Pereirinha, Biava, Ciani, Radu
Candreva, Gonzalez, Hernanes, Lulic
Stuttgart have won just once in the Bundesliga this calendar year and come into Thursday’s Europa League match against Lazio a disappointing 11th in the division. But the Europa League has been a silver lining for them all season and they will hope to pick up where they left off in the competition when they won 2-0 away to Genk in the last round.
Manager Bruno Labbadia will have to make a change up top, however, as Vedad Ibisevic is suspended, and fellow forward Cacau is still recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture and will not be back until the middle of next month.
Winger Tunay Torun has a hamstring injury and misses out, as does midfielder Johan Audel. Mamadou Bah is out for the rest of the season due to a broken leg and right-back Tim Hoogland is fighting off a bout of flu.
Lazio boss Vladimir Petkovic will have to once again make do without German striker Miroslav Klose, who is still recovering from a serious knee injury, and Antonio Rossi has a hamstring problem.
Right-back Abdoulay Konko is still a month away from his return to the lineup following a knee injury, and midfielder Cristian Brocchi will be unlikely to feature again this season after fracturing a metatarsal.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Stuttgart have won just one of their last nine Bundesliga matches—a streak that goes back to December 2012.
- Only four Bundesliga sides (Nuremberg, Wolfsburg, Augsburg and Greuther Furth) have managed fewer than Stuttgart’s 26 goals in 24 Bundesliga matches so far this season.
- These sides last met in a club friendly in July 2007. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and the goals came from Stefano Mauri and Alexander Farnerud.
- Like Suttgart, Lazio have been struggling domestically of late and have won just two of their last eight matches in Serie A.
- After an entertaining 3-3 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach in the first leg of the Round of 32, Lazio were 2-0 winners in the Italian capital thanks to goals from Antonio Candreva and Alvaro Gonzalez.
- With five goals in the competition, Lazio striker Libor Kozak is second only to Edinson Cavani in Europa League goal-scoring.
Top 3 Predictions
VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Lazio
- 18.97 %
VfB Stuttgart 0-2 Lazio
- 14.8 %
VfB Stuttgart 1-1 Lazio
- 12.72 %
|Europa League (EL)||15-Mar-2013||Lazio 3 - VfB Stuttgart 1|
|Europa League (EL)||07-Mar-2013||VfB Stuttgart 0 - Lazio 2|
|Club Friendlies (FRC)||17-Jul-2007||Lazio 1 - VfB Stuttgart 1|
|30-Nov-2013||Schalke 04 3 - VfB Stuttgart 0||BUN|
|23-Nov-2013||VfB Stuttgart 0 - Mönchengladbach 2||BUN|
|10-Nov-2013||SC Freiburg 1 - VfB Stuttgart 3||BUN|
|02-Nov-2013||Borussia Dortmund 6 - VfB Stuttgart 1||BUN|
|26-Oct-2013||VfB Stuttgart 1 - FC Nürnberg 1||BUN|
|4||William Kvist Jörgensen||Midfielder|
|44||Alexandru Iulian Maxim||Midfielder|
|26||Felipe Aliste Lopes||Defender|