Stuttgart will look to claim a fourth consecutive away victory when they travel to Voith-Arena for Sunday's meeting with Heidenheim.
|Photo: Jeollo, Vfb-exklusiv.de, CC BY-SA 3.0
Heidenheim are currently enduring a poor run of form after losing their last four matches across all competitions. Since beating Union Berlin at the end of September, the newly-promoted side have lost to Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg, before they suffered back-to-back defeats in league and cup games against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
After losing 2-1 in last weekend’s away meeting with die Fohlen, Heidenheim would have been looking for revenge in their midweek trip to Borussia-Park for a second-round cup tie. Eren Dinkçi restored parity after Alassane Pléa had opened the scoring, but a Jonas Föhrenbach own goal ensured Gladbach advanced to the next round.
Following their DFB-Pokal exit, Heidenheim will now focus on their survival fight for the remainder of the campaign. Frank Schmidt’s charges will head into Sunday’s encounter in 14th position and just one point clear of the bottom three. Having conceded at least two goals in each of their last five competitive matches, the hosts will have to improve defensively if they are to trouble Stuttgart.
Thomas Keller, Marvin Pieringer and Elidon Qenaj are ruled out through injury, while Marnon Busch is a doubt for Sunday's contest.
After spending the last couple of seasons fighting to remain in the division, Stuttgart are currently mixing it at the top of the Bundesliga table. Having collected 21 points from their nine matches, die Schwaben occupy a top-four position.
They enjoyed a run of six consecutive victories before they fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat to Hoffenheim last weekend. However, they managed to bounce back from that disappointment in Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal meeting with struggling Union Berlin. Brighton & Hove Albion loanee Deniz Undav scored the decisive goal to send his side into the third round.
Having played their last two competitive matches on home turf, Stuttgart will head on their travels for Sunday’s contest. Since losing 5-1 to RB Leipzig in their first away game of the season, the visitors have gone on to win three consecutive away matches, scoring at least two goals in each of those victories. They have also managed to remain resolute at the opposite end of the pitch, keeping clean sheets in their last two away trips.
Stuttgart are still without the services of their star striker Serhou Guirassy, who has missed the last two matches with a hamstring injury.