Borussia Dortmund vs VfB Stuttgart: Preview and Prediction

Top-four rivals Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart clash on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Westfalenstadion.

The race for the top-four positions in the Bundesliga will heat up on Saturday as primary contenders Borussia Dortmund host direct rivals VfB Stuttgart at the Westfalenstadoin. The venue will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary, as the fans will surely want their side to come out on top in what seems like a crucial fixture in their season.

Before the last matchday, Borussia Dortmund were trailing RB Leipzig by two points, but they are now three clear after their rivals could only muster a draw against Mainz. Meanwhile, Edin Terzic’s side managed to topple Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, which may have effectively ended the reigning champions’ title charge, as Bayer Leverkusen extended their lead at the top to 13 points now.

A good result against Bayern propelled Dortmund’s confidence levels, and should they beat Stuttgart on Saturday, they will close the gap to the third-placed side to just a single point. Hence, for Terzic’s men, this is a crucial game, as a win would genuinely open up the race for the top four, with Leipzig lurking closely behind the duo.

Like Leipzig, VfB Stuttgart also dropped points in the last matchday, as they could only manage a draw with Heidenheim. The third-placed side was leading 2-0 at one stage but ended the contest with a 3-3 scoreline. Despite being in such a promising position in the contest, Sebastian Hoeness’s side needed a 98th-minute equaliser to earn a point.

Hoeness will need to improve immediately if they do not wish to waste their good work this season. Another set of dropped points, or worse yet, a loss, would place them in a precarious state of affairs, as the pressure would increase on Stuttgart to maintain top levels for the remainder of the campaign to play Champions League football next season.

Hence, they will have to manoeuvre a good result away at the Westfalenstadion and aim to increase their lead over Dortmund to seven points. They will also hope for Leipzig to drop points at the weekend, which would make Stuttgart hot favourites to finish in third.

Team News & Tactics

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund will be without Ramy Bensebiani for the remainder of the season after the full-back picked up a severe knee issue while on international duty with Algeria. He will be missed badly by the club in the late run-in for the UEFA Champions League spots.

There are also considerable doubts about Donyell Malen, who missed the Bayern Munich clash with a thigh issue and seems to be still nursing the problem. However, Edin Terzic will have first-choice goalkeeper Gregor Kobel available again after a stomach problem kept him out of the Bayern Munich clash. At the same time, Marcel Sabitzer also returns after serving a suspension that saw him miss Der Klassiker.

Despite the returning stars, Terzic will ponder naming the same starting lineup that beat Bayern Munich. Hence, a midfield trio of Emre Can with Felix Nmecha and Julian Brandt on either side will take the field. Nico Schlotterbeck and Mats Hummels will provide the central defensive cover for Dortmund, with Julian Ryerson and Ian Maatsen operating in the full-back roles.

With Malen likely to remain absent, Jadon Sancho will assume the role on the right side of the front three, with Karem Adeyemi on the left and Niclas Fullkrug leading the line for Terzic’s men.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kobel; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Nmecha, Can, Brandt; Sancho, Fullkrug, Adeyemi

VfB Stuttgart

VfB Stuttgart have a few key problems ahead of this daunting trip to the Westfalenstadion. Sebastian Hoeness will miss key defender Waldemar Anton due to a suspension, while former Dortmund centre-back Dan-Axel Zagadou also misses out and will not play any part for the remainder of the season.

Similarly, Nikolas Nartey is also working hard to get back into shape as he continues to recover from knee surgery. Anthony Rouault is close to making a return from a broken jaw, but the Borussia Dortmund game might come too soon for Hoeness’s liking.

However, if Hoeness cannot find any option, he might dispatch Rouault in action at the back and partner Hiroki Ito in the heart of the defence. The manager will stick with his 4-2-3-1 shape ahead of the trip to Dortmund.

Deniz Undav and Serhou Guirassy will continue to start after breaking Stuttgart’s club record for league goals scored by an attacking duo. Their tally of 38 is one better than what Jurgen Klinsmann and Karl Allgower managed in the 1985-86 season.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Nubel; Vagnoman, Rouault, Ito, Mittlestadt; Dahoud, Stiller; Leweling, Undav, Fuhrich; Guirassy

Key Stats

  • The Westfalenstadion will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday.
  • Borussia Dortmund have won their last four matches in the Bundesliga.
  • Borussia Dortmund are four points behind Stuttgart in the Bundesliga standings.
  • VfB Stuttgart have scored at least two goals in eight of their last nine matches in the Bundesliga.
  • VfB Stuttgart are unbeaten in 9nin games in the Bundesliga.

Player to Watch

Jadon Sancho

Embed from Getty Images

After what s turning out to be an impressive loan spell away from Manchester United, the winger has found his rhythm and grounding at Dortmund. He has been crucial to how Edin Terzic likes to attack and will look forward to using the forward correctly against Stuttgart.

While he may not have scored against Bayern Munich, Sancho hopes to have a strong performance against his top-four rivals, VfB Stuttgart, and mark the 50th anniversary of the Westfalenstadion in style. He will also have to show consistency in his game as a big summer awaits the on-loan Manchester United forward.


Borussia Dortmund 2-1 VfB Stuttgart

Stuttgart has many reasons to feel optimistic about getting a result away from home, including a nine-game unbeaten run heading into this contest. The visitors are also in good scoring form, and Borussia Dortmund manager Edin Terzic may have a close eye on that.

However, Dortmund come into this game on the back of four consecutive wins and a boost in confidence after beating Bayern Munich away from home. Moreover, with a special occasion brewing at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday, they wil give their best to take all three points but might concede an odd goal in the process.

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