Soccer Germany Bundesliga Relegation Prediction
Hamburger SV vs Stuttgart - Match Preview
⚽ 5 June 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Mission impossible now awaits Hamburg, who have a mountain to climb if they’re to return to the Bundesliga after a crushing 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their play-off against Stuttgart, but head coach Tim Walter insists his side is “not giving up” as they “want to make the impossible possible” in the return fixture. The odds are firmly stacked against his men though, as only three second-tier sides have won the relegation play-off since its return in 2008, and none of them were beaten in the first leg.
He can at least take heart from his side’s imperious home form, with the Red Shorts unbeaten in each of their last ten competitive matches at the Volksparkstadion (W8, D2). As opponents Stuttgart has now scored in 11 consecutive games, Hamburg may need more than three goals if they’re to triumph in the tie, but that’s not necessarily something that’ll intimidate them as they won 6-2 in their last regular season league meeting, a repeat of which would be enough for promotion here.
Stuttgart head into the second leg in a commanding position, although their three-goal lead could’ve been more handsome had striker Serhou Guirassy not fluffed his lines from the penalty spot. Regardless, the Swabians’ 3-0 success was the biggest in the first leg of a relegation play-off since 2009, so they’re firmly in the driver’s seat here as they bid to retain their top-flight status.
Manager Sebastian Hoeneß now must guard against complacency in his ranks, declaring “A game has never been decided at half-time”. His confidence is bound to be high though, especially as his side has won two of their last four away league matches (D1, L1), a run which comes after failing to win any of their previous 23 on the road!
📋 Key battle: Hamburg midfielder Sonny Kittel could be the man to lead the charge for his side, especially as he netted twice in their most recent H2H victory (6-2). Stuttgart wing-back Borna Sosa could be tasked with tying him down, although going forward is where he specialises, with his two assists in the first leg taking his seasonal total to 12 in all competitions.
⚡ Hot stat: The side who lost the first leg of the Bundesliga relegation play-off has gone on to win on aggregate in each of the last two seasons.
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