Stuttgart vs Werder Bremen Preview

Stuttgart will be aiming to follow Werder Bremen's lead by picking up their first points of 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena and getting their season back on the rails.

One goal isn't enough these days...

Bremen broke their duck for the new year with a 2-0 win over Hannover last weekend while Stuttgart have now lost four games in a row, including their last league encounter of 2012.

Stuttgart striker Martin Harnik, who once played for the northern Germany club, knows his side must get back to winning ways sooner rather than later, which is why victory on Saturday is the priority.

"I think that Bremen are a bit like us, only from the north," he said. "They are struggling a bit behind their expectations this season, but they are a step ahead of us since they got a win against Hannover. That gave them some relief.

"That is what we want to get tomorrow [Saturday]."

Although 11th play 12th and Harnik claims both sides are failing to match their expectations, there are still only four points separating the two clubs from a place in Europe next season.

"I think both of us are really obliged to win this match," he added on the Werder website.

"On the one hand, to ensure we stay in touch with the positions above us, and on the other hand, to build a cushion, and we desperately want to end our run of four defeats.

"We are used to having a really big dip in the season - we've had them in recent seasons too - which is why we are not going to get nervous."

Panicking is not what Stuttgart boss Bruno Labbadia wants to see either, but he has warned his side to be careful they do not fall into the visitors' trap.

He explained: "They are probably going to sit back a bit and then they will try to hit us with their dynamic players.

"They were really good against Hannover, even if they only took the lead in the 85th minute. They fully deserved their win."

That result will count for little if they fail to build on it in Stuttgart, according to Bremen's coach Thomas Schaaf.

"We just want to be successful in our next game and nothing else matters right now," he said.

"It's been long enough since we won two games in a row."

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