VfB Stuttgart vs SC Freiburg
VfB Stuttgart are back in the Bundesliga. The five-time German champions have returned to the top flight after just one year in Bundesliga 2 and will be targeting survival this season.
Die Schwaben should have some of their home fans back at the Mercedes-Benz Arena as they kick off the campaign against SC Freiburg.
Freiburg finished in the top half of the table last season, but after selling some of their key players over the summer, the Bundesliga 2020 betting odds don’t fancy them as much away to the newly promoted side.
Stuttgart to start season without star forward
Stuttgart finished second in 2. Bundesliga last year to earn automatic promotion after just one season. They were 10 points behind champions Arminia Bielefeld and were also second in both goals scored (62) and goals conceded (41).
Stuttgart had a balanced attack with five players finishing with six or more goals. Nicolas Gonzalez led the team with 14 goals, and despite stating that he would like to leave the club, he still hasn’t been sold.
Gonzalez is now unlikely to get his move as he is set to miss the first 4-6 weeks of the season after suffering a hip injury in a pre-season match against Strasbourg.
With veteran Mario Gomez now retired, coach Pellegrino Matarazzo will likely start either Sasa Kalajdzic or Hamadi Al Ghaddioui as the lead striker alongside Daniel Didavi and Silas Wamangituka.
Al Ghaddioui was Stuttgart’s second-leading scorer last season with eight goals, but it was Kalajdzic who got the start in their 1-0 win over Hansa Rostock in the DFB-Pokal over the weekend.
Stuttgart opted to strengthen primarily at the back this summer, though. Their most notable moves were signing young centre-back Waldemar Anton from Hannover and goalkeeper Gregor Kobel from Hoffenheim for €4.00m each.
They also signed right-back Pascal Stenzel from Freiburg and is likely to get the start against his former club.
Freiburg lose key players
Freiburg had a fine season in 2019/20. After being in the bottom half in each of the last two seasons, they ended up in the top half with an eighth-place finish and just missed out on a European place.
They had some shaky Bundesliga 2020 results to begin the restart, but they ended the season strong with three wins in their last five matches.
Once again, Nils Petersen was a big part of their success. The Freiburg forward finished with 11 goals, the fourth season in a row where he’s finished with double-digit scoring in the Bundesliga.
Petersen will likely start up front alongside Lucas Höler (eight goals last season) against Stuttgart in coach Christian Streich’s preferred 4-2-2-2 formation, which had a lot of success last season.
However, Freiburg could find it a bit harder in the league this season. They’ve sold off some key players such as young striker Luca Waldschmidt, goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow, and centre-back Robin Koch, who went to Premier League side Leeds United.
Meanwhile, they haven’t spent as much to reinvest in the squad. Their most notable signing has been 22-year-old striker Ermedin Demirovic, who had 14 goals in 28 appearances on loan at St. Gallen in the Swiss Super League last season.
They remain thin in midfield now that Koch is no longer around. 20-year-old Yannik Keitel, who made just three league appearances last season, started alongside Nicolas Höfler in their 2-1 cup win against Waldhof Mannheim and could be given the chance to make that central midfield position his.
Stuttgart have had the upper hand in their recent matchups against Freiburg. Die Schwaben have won 10 of their 16 Bundesliga meetings, with Freiburg winning just three. The two sides also met twice in the cup in 2013 and each won their home leg.
Stuttgart are actually unbeaten in their last eight meetings against Freiburg, with five wins and three draws.
Moreover, matches between Stuttgart and Freiburg have been surprisingly high-scoring. Their two games in the 2018/19 season resulted in 3-3 and 2-2 draws. And of their last 18 matches, there have been three or more goals scored in 15 of them.
|VfB Stuttgart vs SC Freiburg||SC Freiburg Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 1.92|
|September 19, 21:30 (GMT+8)|
Somewhat surprisingly, SBOTOP odds have newly promoted Stuttgart as the 2.33 favourites against Freiburg, who are 2.83 underdogs. Meanwhile, a draw is priced at 3.50.
Granted, Freiburg did not have the best record away from home last season; they failed to win their last seven away matches. But still, they picked up decent results against teams lower in the table.
Despite the loss of some key players, Freiburg are still the more settled side than Stuttgart, who are missing their main goalscorer and also have a new defence to break in.
Meanwhile, Freiburg also have two proven Bundesliga goal-getters in Petersen and Höler, who should help them pick up a draw at the very least against the new boys.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.