The Bundesliga returns from the international break with a bang on Friday night when Stuttgart – unbeaten at home – welcome a Cologne side desperately hunting a first victory this season (kick-off 20:30CEST/18:30GMT).
Stuttgart approach this one off the back of a three-game winless run after the Swabians went down 2-1 to 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt in the last minute on Matchday 7. It’s hardly all doom and gloom in Baden-Württemberg, however, given that Hannes Wolf’s side are yet to lose – or even concede a goal – on home turf this term. On top of that, Stuttgart have few new injury concerns: only Holger Badstuber is a fresh doubt having missed training in the last week.
Yet to win this season, Cologne are in dire need of three points to start the long climb off the bottom of the table. There are personnel issues for the Billy Goats, though: Colombian striker Jhon Cordoba suffered a thigh injury in Matchday 7’s 2-1 home defeat to RB Leipzig and looks set to miss this one. Given that Peter Stöger’s side have only scored twice this season, Cordoba’s absence places even more pressure on the shoulders of new arrival Claudio Pizarro, who is likely to get the nod up front.
Watch: Pizarro made his Bundesliga debut for Cologne in Matchday 7’s thriller against Leipzig
Stuttgart: Zieler – Beck, Kaminski, Baumgartl, Aogo (c) – Ascacibar, Pavard – Akolo, Donis – Ginczek, Terodde
Absentees: Badstuber (knee), Insua (match fitness), Gentner (skull), Zimmermann (ligament damage), Mane (knee)
Coach: Hannes Wolf
Cologne: Horn – Klünter, Sörensen, Heintz, Rausch – Höger, Lehmann (c) – Jojic, Osako, Bittencourt – Pizarro
Absentees: Cordoba (thigh), Hector (ankle), Risse (knee), Clemens (illness)
Coach: Peter Stöger
- There has not been a home win in this fixture in the last 19 encounters, a Bundesliga record for the longest time without the hosts triumphing.
- The last home win in this fixture came on 29 October 2000, Cologne coming out 3-2 winners.
- Stuttgart have not won any of the last 11 home games against Cologne – never have the club waited longer for a home win against any opponent.
- The Swabians’ last home victory against Cologne came last century, a 4-0 win in September 1996.
- Only against Schalke (36 wins) have Cologne been more successful historically in the Bundesliga than against Stuttgart (35 wins).
- Cologne are still waiting for a first win of the Bundesliga or European season; they’re nine games without a victory and counting.
- The Billy Goats have yet to score away from home this season, while Stuttgart have yet to concede a goal on home soil.
- Only two goals have been scored in three games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena so far this season, a top-flight low.
- Stuttgart striker Simon Terodde made five appearances for Cologne between 2009 and 2011.