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May 14, 2022 at 2.30pm UK
2 - 1
FC Koln
Kalajdzic (12'), Endo (90+2')
Coulibaly (90+7')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Modeste (59')
Baumgart (28'), Horn (79'), Schmitz (81'), Modeste (90'), Schwabe (90+6')

Preview: Stuttgart vs. FC Koln - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Stuttgart vs. FC Koln - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Stuttgart and FC Koln, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Stuttgart will be seeking a victory to maintain their Bundesliga status when they play host to Europa Conference League hopefuls FC Koln in a crucial clash on the final day of the 2021-22 campaign on Saturday.

The hosts have only won five of their 16 league matches on home soil this term, while the visitors have won only five of their 16 league games on the road.

Match preview

Stuttgart managed to keep their survival hopes alive when they secured a surprise 2-2 draw away at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich last weekend.

Tiago Tomas opened the scoring for Die Roten before strikes from Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller turned the game on its head, but it was Sasa Kalajdzic who had the last laugh as he equalised in the 52nd minute to rescue a crucial point for the visitors.

Pellegrino Matarazzo's side have now failed to win any of their last six league games but that point claimed at the Allianz Arena means they are in with a chance of securing their Bundesliga status for another season.

Stuttgart are currently in the relegation playoff position, but they are only three points behind Hertha Berlin in 15th and have a much better goal difference, meaning victory for the former and defeat for the latter against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday will see the two teams switch positions.

Die Roten have, however, lost four of their last five home meetings against Koln across all competitions, including the 2-0 defeat in the DFB-Pokal in October.

After winning four successive Bundesliga games and scoring 13 goals in the process, Koln suffered a slender 1-0 defeat at home to Wolfsburg last weekend.

The Billy Goats dominated proceedings with 61% possession and 18 shots on goal, but Yannick Gerhardt's 43rd-minute strike was enough to separate the two sides and condemn Steffen Baumgart's side to their ninth defeat of the season.

That result means Koln's hopes of European qualification are now out of their own hands as they have slipped down to seventh place in the table, two points behind Union Berlin in sixth, who occupy the Europa Conference League position.

Koln, who beat Stuttgart 1-0 at home in December's reverse fixture, have won their last two away matches in the top flight and victory on Saturday would see them claim three successive league victories on the road for the first time since 1992.

Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D

FC Koln Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Stuttgart trio Wahid Faghir, Clinton Mola and Mohamed Sankoh are all sidelined with knee injuries, while Roberto Massimo (back), Pascal Stenzel (abdominal), Naouirou Ahamada (broken toe) and Silas Katompa Mvumpa (shoulder) are also on the treatment table.

Kalajdzic, who is Die Roten's top scorer with just five goals this term, is set to be supported in attack by Tomas and Omar Marmoush, while wing-backs Borna Sosa and Chris Fuhrich are expected to retain their places in the first XI.

As for Koln, Baumgart has confirmed that Jan Thielmann, Marvin Obuz (both ligament) and Tomas Ostrak (muscle) are ruled out through injury, while Sebastian Andersson will miss out due to coronavirus.

Top scorer Anthony Modeste, who has found the net 19 times this season, has scored all three of Koln's goals in matches against Stuttgart this season, netting twice in the DFB-Pokal and once in the league; the Frenchman is set to lead the line with support to be provided by Mark Uth.

A back four of Benno Schmitz, Luca Kilian, Timo Hubers and Jonas Hector is set to continue, while Salih Ozcan, Ellyes Skhiri, Florian Kainz and Dejan Ljubicic could all start in a midfield diamond.

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Muller; Mavropanos, Anton, Ito; Fuhrich, Endo, Karazor, Sosa; Marmoush, Tomas; Kalajdzic

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Schwabe; Schmitz, Kilian, Hubers, Hector; Ozcan; Skhiri, Kainz; Ljubicic; Uth, Modeste

We say: Stuttgart 1-2 FC Koln

Saturday's fixture at the Mercedes-Benz Arena is a meaningful game for both Stuttgart and Koln, with the former bidding to secure survival and the latter vying to qualify for Europe.

Even though Koln suffered defeat last time out, they will be the slight favourites for this contest and we can see them securing a slender win on the road.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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