Two sides battling towards the wrong end of the Bundesliga table will face off on Tuesday when Hoffenheim play host to Stuttgart.
|Bruno Labbadia.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag|
Hoffenheim began the Bundesliga campaign with four wins from their opening six games, but their last 10 matches have yielded just one victory. They returned from the winter break with a disappointing 3-1 defeat in their away meeting with Union Berlin. Ihlas Bebou gave Hoffenheim the lead two minutes before half time, but goals from Danilho Doekhi in the 73rd and 89th minute turned the game on its head, before Jamie Leweling added a third Union goal in stoppage time to condemn Hoffenheim to a 3-1 defeat.
The result represents a fourth straight topflight defeat for Hoffenheim, conceding at least two goals in each of those four games. After failing to win any of their last six league games in all competitions, André Breitenreiter's side are sat in 13th position, three points above the relegation playoff spot.
As they prepare for Tuesday's meeting, they can draw inspiration from the fact that they have won five and drawn two of their last seven home league meetings with Stuttgart.
Ankle injuries will prevent Kevin Akpoguma and Grischa Prömel from featuring, while Kevin Vogt and Jacob Bruun Larsen are also set to miss out. Ozan Kabak will serve a one-match suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.
Bruno Labaddia began his second spell as Stuttgart boss with a 1-1 home draw against Mainz. Serhou Guirassy opened the scoring for the Die Schwaben in the first half, but four minutes later Marcus Ingvartsen equalised from the spot, and with neither side able to find a winner in the second period, they both had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Having picked up 16 points from their 15 Bundesliga games, Stuttgart are one point clear of the automatic relegation places, but they are currently in the playoff position on goals scored.
While the Stuttgart head coach will be looking to record his first win since returning to the club, his side are also looking to win a Bundesliga away game for the first time this season. After drawing their opening three away games in the topflight, Stuttgart have lost their last four league matches on the road.
Labaddia will also be targeting a strong display from his defence, who are looking to end a run of 12 Bundesliga games without a clean sheet.
The visitors are expected to be without the services of Dan-Axel Zagadou due to an injury issue, while Borna Sosa and Laurin Ulrich are also set to be ruled out.