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The Boys in Brown resume their league campaign with the visit of third-placed VfB Stuttgart to the Millerntor on Sunday (kick-off: 1330 CET). As usual, we've collected a few facts on our opponents.

Shoot on sight

Stuttgart are big favourites for promotion back to the top flight this season. That the Swabians are lurking in third spot behind Braunschweig and Hannover is in no small part down to their outstanding chance-to-goal ratio. In the first half of the campaign the Stuttgarters registered 64 attempts on goal, of which 30 were converted. Best in class!

Impressive when ahead

When Stuttgart take the lead, they usually go on to win the game. This season they have gone in front on 13 occasions and taken all three points ten times. If they go behind, however, they appear to struggle, having lost five of the six games in which they have fallen behind. Only on matchday 1 did Stuttgart come from behind to win. But we know all about that.

Quick starters

Teams facing VfB Stuttgart need to be focused from the word go, as Hannes Wolf's side have scored nine of their 30 goals in the opening quarter of an hour. If you emerge from this phase of the game unscathed, Stuttgart tend to drop off a little, however. In the period around half-time between the 31st and 60th minutes, they have scored just five goals.

Between genius and madness

Stuttgart have shown themselves to be very effective this term, hoovering up points both at home (18) and away (14). The side positioned fifth in the all-time Bundesliga table have suffered a few setbacks along the way, however, most notably in the 5-0 defeat at Dresden and the 3-0 reverse at Kickers Würzburg.

All runs come to an end

As we have discovered to our cost this season, every run comes to an end some time. Braunschweig won at the Millerntor for the first time in over 25 years, for example. Now it's time for us to turn the tables! For the last time we beat Stuttgart was back in November 1996, i.e. more than 20 years ago, when a Christian Springer brace gave the Boys in Brown a 2-1 win over the "magic triangle" of Fredi Bobic, Giovane Elber and Krassimir Balakov. The Stuttgart coach back then, incidentally, was Joachim Löw.

Stable at the back

Hannes Wolf's team played four warm-up matches during the winter break. Games against Bundesliga outfit FC Köln and third-division MSV Duisburg ended in scoreless draws, while a late goal from Berkay Öczan secured a 1-0 win over Swiss Super League club Lausanne Sport. Stuttgart kept a tight ship once again in the dress rehearsal against FC Luzern on Wednesday afternoon, winning 3-0 thanks to goals from Simon Terodde, Alexandru Maxim and Joel Sonora.


Photos: Witters