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February 4, 2012 2:30 PM GMT
BayArena — Leverkusen
Referee:‬ T. Kinhöfer‎
Attendance:‬ 27929‎

Bundesliga Preview: Bayer Leverkusen - Stuttgart

Robin Dutt's side hope to make up for lost points as they play host to the Swabians, who will be without recently-sold striker Pavel Pogrebnyak

By Clark Whitney

VfB Stuttgart vs. Bayer Leverkusen, Bundsliga



Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Corluka, Schwaab, Friedrich, Kadlec
Reinartz, Bender, Rolfes
Castro, Derdiyok, Schurrle


Boulahrouz, Tasci, Maza, Molinaro
Harnik, Kvist, Hajnal, Okazaki
Ibisevic, Cacau

Robin Dutt is expected to adopt a conservative approach to Saturday's match, using three primarily defensive midfielders behind a front three that will feature Andre Schurrle as half-winger, half-centre forward. New signing Vedran Corluka is tipped to start his first match at the BayArena. Rene Adler, Tranquillo Barnetta, and Sidney Sam are all unfit.

With Pavel Pogrebnyak having been sold to Fulham earlier this week, Vedad Ibisevic is certain to start in the centre of attack. Mamadou bah, Arthur Boka, and Ibrahima Traore are all missing due to their participation at the African Cup of Nations. As well, Matthieu Delpierre is suspended, and Timo Gebhart and Johan Audel are both lacking fitness to play.

  • Leverkusen have a positive record at home, but have been out-scored 13-12 at the BayArena.

  • To date, Robin Dutt's side have been better on the road than at home: away they have lost just two of 10, winning four; in front of their own fans, they have won four and lost three of their nine matches.
  • Summer signing Andre Schurrle has found the net just twice in the Bundesliga this season, and has not scored since November 5.
  • Stuttgart have lost their last four Bundesliga games, and are winless since November 20.
  • Martin Harnik has directly contributed to nine of his team's 24 goals.
  • The Swabians have won just two of their nine away games this season.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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1. Bundesliga ‎(GER1)‎ Feb 4, 2012 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 - VfB Stuttgart 2
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Bernd LenoGoalkeeper
3Daniel SchwaabDefender
2Manuel FriedrichDefender
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
24Michal KadlecDefender
3Stefan ReinartzMidfielder
6Simon RolfesMidfielder
8Lars BenderMidfielder
27Gonzalo CastroDefender
11Stefan KießlingStriker
14Andre SchürrleStriker
33Fabian GieferGoalkeeper
6Bastian OczipkaDefender
20D. da CostaDefender
21Ömer ToprakDefender
25Renato AugustoMidfielder
13Michael BallackMidfielder
18Sidney SamMidfielder
1Sven UlreichGoalkeeper
3Cristian MolinaroDefender
5Serdar TasciDefender
6Georg NiedermeierDefender
21Khalid BoulahrouzDefender
6William Kvist JörgensenMidfielder
20Christian GentnerMidfielder
23Shinji OkazakiStriker
9Vedad IbisevicStriker
23Julian SchieberStriker
23Marc ZieglerGoalkeeper
2Javi MartínezMidfielder
24Antonio RüdigerDefender
17Zdravko KuzmanovicMidfielder
8Raphael HolzhauserMidfielder
30Tamas HajnalMidfielder
7Martin HarnikStriker
Players to Watch
Vedran Corluka
Vedran Corluka
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 22
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The right-back spot has been a touchy issue for Leverkusen this year, and after 18-year-old Danny da Costa proved to be still a little too raw to be reliable, Corluka came to add a bit more certainty to the Leverkusen defence.
Vedad Ibisevic
Vedad Ibisevic
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
25 10 4 1
The newcomer has in the past proven to be a potentially devastating striker, and perhaps his move from Hoffenheim is what he needed to re-find the spark he once had. Time will tell...
Leverkusen have not exactly impressed at home, but Stuttgart are in abysmal form. Expect goals, expect gaffes from both sides, but in the end, expect the hosts to come out on top.
Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robert Lewandowski Robert Lewandowski
18 4
Mario Mandzukic Mario Mandzukic
18 0
Adrian Ramos Adrian Ramos
Hertha BSC
16 3
Josip Drmic Josip Drmic
FC Nürnberg
16 2
Marco Reus Marco Reus
15 5