Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 1
(1 - 0)
RB Leipzig
D. Szoboszlai (25), D. Szoboszlai (49)
C. Führich (68)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Stuttgart limp into encounter with Leipzig

VfB Stuttgart trainer Bruno Labbadia had mostly bad injury news to report during his Thursday pre-match press conference. 
As if facing surging RB Leipzig didn't constitute enough of a challenge, VfB Stuttgart head-coach Bruno Labbadia conceded that he must do without two of his regular attackers in tomorrow evening's official Bundesliga "Rück-runde" curtain-raiser. Wingers Silas and Tiago Tomas had to leave the pitch during Tuesday's 2-2 draw with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Both are confirmed outs for the next fixture.

At a Thursday presser, Labbadia confirmed that Tomas' abdominal tear will keep the Portuguese attacker sidelined for up to three weeks. Congolese talisman Silas has bleeding in his shin bone that cannot be chanced for some time. Additionally, defenders Hiroki Ito and Konstantinos Mavropanos are hurt. The two starters went the full 90 on Tuesday, but did not escape the match without problems.

Mavropanos had to play the match turbaned after suffering an eye laceration. Ito succumbed to recurrent calf problems. Labbadia emphasized that whether either defender would play would be a "game-time" decision. Potential replacements for Labbadia's many injured players are running thin. Dan-Axel Zagadou and Tanguy Coulibaly remain unavailable.

Labbadia sought to do his best to put on a brave face. Knowing full well that midfield linchpin Naouirou Ahamada must also sit out due to a suspension incurred in the Hoffenheim fixture, about the best the gaffer tasked with helping Stuttgart avoid relegation could do was say that he relished taking on adversity.

"I have always said: we need the whole squad - everyone is required," Labbadia noted, "There's a lot of intensity and legwork required here. I'm taking it as a challenge."

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