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It’s been a season to forget so far for Stuttgart who now sit in the relegation play-off spot after a run of five Bundesliga games without a win (D2, L3). Whilst they put up a good fight in last weekend’s narrow loss to Dortmund, they’ve now failed to score more than a goal in nine of their last ten competitive games.
That’s a situation that will worry under fire boss Pellegrino Matarazzo, who’ll hope that the arrival of Mainz - who Stuttgart took maximum points from last season - will bring about a change in fortunes. That’s a distinct possibility as Stuttgart are back at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, where they’ve collected the majority of their points (7 vs 3), including both of their Bundesliga wins which came against sides outside the top six.
Mainz will be no pushovers however, as they arrive amid an unbeaten four-game run in the Bundesliga (W2, D2), though they’ll be disappointed not to have won last weekend considering their record when scoring first this season (W5, D1, L1). Still, their 18 points at this juncture marks their best 12-game start to a Bundesliga season since 2010/11.
Yet to draw on the road this season in the league (W2, L3), the scorer of the match opener has gone on to win all five of Mainz’s away games. That all or nothing approach has also been evident in this H2H, with each of the last six matchups at Stuttgart seeing the teams alternate wins.
Players to watch: Konstantinos Mavropanos has the best tackle success rate in the Bundesliga (71.1% won) this season and has also scored three goals, twice as first scorer for Stuttgart. Meanwhile Jae-Sung Lee scored a first-half opener in Mainz’s last away league win, and did the same for South Korea recently.
Hot stat: Nine of Stuttgart’s 12 league games have seen the same HT/FT result.