RB Leipzig vs. VfB Stuttgart
The second half of the Bundesliga season officially gets underway on Friday night as Leipzig are set to welcome VfB Stuttgart to the Red Bull Arena (20:30 CET). The matchday 18 clash will be the tenth meeting between the two sides.
In the previous nine meetings, RB have been victorious on seven occasions and there have been two draws. Leipzig also have a particularly impressive goal difference in this fixture. They have scored 16 goals and have conceded just two. VfB are still yet to pick up a point at the Red Bull Arena.
Stuttgart, who have recently appointed a new head coach and a new sporting director, will be looking to change that on Friday night. Bruno Labbadia and Fabian Wohlgemuth were appointed back in December and their task is to keep the Swabians in the Bundesliga.
VfB didn’t get off to the best of starts this season and were winless after nine games (5D, 4L). Michael Wimmer replaced Pellegrino Matarazzo as interim coach in October but their fortunes remained mixed. Stuttgart’s three home wins under Wimmer were each followed by defeats on the road. Their shaky start to the campaign left them in 16th spot going into the winter break.
Stuttgart have picked up two points from their first two games after the restart. Serhou Guirassy scored in their 1-1 draw with Mainz and they had to settle for a 2-2 draw in Hoffenheim as Andrej Kramarić scored a late goal for the hosts. They are travelling to Leipzig on Friday in 14th position in the Bundesliga table.
Captain Wataru Endo leads by example on the pitch. The Japanese defensive midfielder scored an incredible last-gasp winner against Köln back in May to save Stuttagrt from the relegation playoffs. He also scored in VfB’s 2-2 draw with Hoffenheim last time out.
Stuttgart’s top scorer this season is Serhou Guirassy, who signed on loan from Rennes in September. The Guinea international has scored six goals in twelve games in the league and has formed a solid partnership alongside Silas, who has also chipped in with three goals.
Defender Borna Sosa is also an important player for VfB. The wing-back, however, will likely miss Friday’s clash. After returning from the World Cup with Croatia, the 24-year-old has had to deal with persistent muscular problems.
VfB Stuttgart's top scorers - Bundesliga 2022/23
Serhou Guirassy (6 goals/1 Assist)
Borna Sosa (0/5)
Tiago Tomas (2/2)
RB Leipzig's top scorers - Bundesliga 2022/23
Christopher Nkunku (12/2)
Dominik Szoboszlai (1/8)
Timo Werner (5/2)
André Silva (4/2)
Dani Olmo (2/5)
Injuries & suspensions
The injured Dan-Axel Zagadou (ankle) and Borna Sosa (adductor) are likely to miss out.
RB Leipzig’s current team news can be found here.
Stuttgart also received a curious red card in the Hoffenheim game on Tuesday. After assisting the second goal, Naouirou Ahamada celebrated with the Stuttgart fans and was sent off in the aftermath.
Bruno Labbadia was brought in for his second spell in charge of Stuttgart after their bumpy start to the season. The 56-year-old was also in charge of the Swabians from 2010-2013.
Labbadia has also been in charge other various other Bundesliga clubs, including: Hertha BSC (2020-21), VfL Wolfsburg (2018-19), Hamburger SV (2015-16, 2009-10) and Bayer Leverkusen (2008-09).
Labbadia was also a professional player. He had stints at the likes of HSV, Kaiserslautern, and Bayern Munich, in a playing career that spanned from 1984-2003. He won the DFB-Pokal with Kaiserslautern and the Bundesliga with Bayern.
He scored 103 goals in 328 Bundesliga appearances. He also featured 229 times in the 2. Bundesliga, scoring 101 goals. The German-Italian ended his playing career in 2003.
RBL fixtures at a glance
Saturday 11/12/22, 02.30 p.m.
0 : 1
Friday 01/20/23, 07.30 p.m.
0 : 1
Tuesday 01/24/23, 05.30 p.m.
0 : 4
Friday 01/27/23, 07.30 p.m.
1 : 0
Round of 16
Wednesday 02/01/23, 05.00 p.m.
2 : 0
RBL are unbeaten against Stuttgart (7W, 2D). They have also scored 16 goals and conceded just two against Friday’s opponents.
The last match between the two sides was on 7th August 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Christo Nkunku and Naouirou Ahamada scored in a 1-1 draw.
· 7th August 2022 | Bundesliga: VfB Stuttgart 1-1 RB Leipzig
· 15th January 2022 | Bundesliga: VfB Stuttgart 0-2 RB Leipzig
· 20th August 2021 | Bundesliga: RB Leipzig 4-0 VfB Stuttgart
· 25th April 2021 |Bundesliga: RB Leipzig 2-0 VfB Stuttgart
· 2nd January 2021 | Bundesliga: VfB Stuttgart 0-1 RB Leipzig