Bayer Leverkusen vs Stuttgart Preview

Stuttgart are one of only two Bundesliga clubs still involved in three competitions heading into the final third of the season ahead of the game with Bayer Leverkusen.

Stuttgart players celebrate

A 2-0 win over Bochum in the DFB-Pokal in midweek has earned them a shot at the Berlin final in May, while victory in Genk last week set up a Europa League last-16 tie with Lazio.

Their Bundesliga position still has a lot of room for improvement, however, and unlike the Bundesliga's other side still in the hunt for three trophies, Bayern Munich, the chances of the Swabians ending the season empty-handed still remains high.

Winning nothing for Stuttgart would not only mean going without a trophy, but also missing out on qualifying for Europe again next season, and they need to make up a gap of five points on the top six to get something tangible out of the season, regardless of the cup competitions.

They travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, then, with the aim of keeping in touch with the European places, and not having to rely on the cups to get them there.

"We're going to have to be very careful," said Leverkusen defender Gonzalo Castro on his club's website.

"Stuttgart are very strong on the counter attack and have very fast players.

"We're going to have to be more incisive in attack and be more effective with our chances than we were in Furth.

"We have 11 games to come and each one of them is like a cup final."

For Leverkusen, all that remains is the Bundesliga following their elimination from the Europa League a week ago, and they are on course for a place in the Champions League next season.

However, their joint coach Sami Hyypia has warned that there is still plenty of work to be done before his club can celebrate a place in the Champions League, and defeat to Stuttgart could see them get dragged into a fierce competition for top-six places.

He has therefore reminded that a top-four finish was not necessarily their objective for the season.

"I know what people want to hear from me, but I'm not going to say it," he said.

"Before the season started, we set a target of qualifying for Europe and we are not going to change that.

"Besides, European football includes the Champions League."



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update