} //if ($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']==''){die('Done');} ?> Stuttgart vs FC Köln preview: Matarazzo's side aiming to climb above Hertha

Stuttgart - FC Köln

Germany: Bundesliga
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FC Köln

Stuttgart vs FC Köln preview: Matarazzo's side aiming to climb above Hertha

By Ben Sully

Stuttgart will be looking to move out of the bottom three on the final matchday, but they will face a Köln team that are motivated for all three points as they bid to climb into the top six.

Pellegrino Matarazzo.
Pellegrino Matarazzo.


Stuttgart looked to have staved off automatic relegation, with Arminia Bielefeld three points adrift with an inferior goal difference.

It seems as though Die Schwaben are heading towards a relegation playoff with the third placed side in the 2. Bundesliga, but Stuttgart do have the chance to move out of the bottom three on the final matchday.

To avoid a playoff, Pellegrino Matarazzo's side need to beat Köln, while Hertha BSC would have to lose to Borussia Dortmund.

Although they are winless in their last six matches, Stuttgart would have taken confidence from the hard-fought point they picked up against champions Bayern Munich last weekend.

Tiago Tomás got Stuttgart off to a superb start at the Allianz Arena before strikes from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Müller restored order to proceedings. However, the visitors demonstrated great fight to hit back in the second half with Saša Kalajdžić finding the net seven minutes after the restart to ensure the spoils would be shared.

The draw with Bayern may have boosted confidence, but six victories in their 33 league games will not offer too much encouragement for the hosts, although they can draw inspiration from the fact that five of those six wins have taken place on home turf.
Team News

Stuttgart are still without the services of Pascal Stenzel, Naouirou Ahamada, Mohamed Sankoh and Silas.

FC Köln

Köln are assured of a Europa Conference League place, but they could still upgrade seventh spot to a Europa League qualification position.

If Steffan Baumgart's side are to move up to sixth place then they need to beat Stuttgart, while hoping that Union Berlin fail to beat Bochum.

Even if Die Geißböcke cannot improve on seventh position they will regard the season as an unmitigated success after being involved in the relegation playoff last term.

Although a run of four consecutive victories was ended by a 1-0 defeat to Wolfsburg last weekend, Köln have the chance to clinch a third consecutive away victory.

Their last two away games have been won by an aggregate 7-2 scoreline, while they have lost just two of their previous 11 away matches.

Köln will also take confidence from their last two competitive meetings with Stuttgart, which have both yielded victories.
Team News

The visitors will have to cope without the services of Sebastian Andersson and Jan Thielmann.

1F. Müller
5K. Mavropanos
2W. Anton
37H. Ito
24B. Sosa
3W. Endo (C)
16A. Karazor ↪85
23O. Mangala
22C. Führich ↪58
9S. Kalajdzic
18T. de Melo Tomás ↪58
33F. Bredlow
17O. Marmoush ↩58
43L. Bazzoli
7T. Coulibaly ↩85
8E. Millot
11E. Thommy ↩58 ↪90
30R. Massimo ↩90
31M. Klimowicz
34Ö. Beyaz
FC Köln
20M. Schwäbe
19K. Ehizibue ↪64
15L. Kilian ↪78
4T. Hübers
14J. Hector (C) ↪46
6S. Özcan
28E. Skhiri
7D. Ljubicic
13M. Uth ↪78
11F. Kainz ↪64
27A. Modeste
1T. Horn
2B. Schmitz ↩64
23J. Horn ↩46
24J. Chabot
17K. Schindler ↩64
18O. Duda ↩78
21L. Schaub
25T. Lemperle ↩78
47M. Olesen

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