VfB Stuttgart - FC Ingolstadt 04 preview - Can die Schanzer remain undefeated away from home?
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)

Ralph Hasenhüttl's FC Ingolstadt 04 make the relatively short trip on Sunday evening to the Mercedes Benz Arena as they take on VfB Stuttgart in what proves to be an interest clash. The hosts remain winless on home turf, a solitary win at Hannover 96 their only three points, and the visit of die Schanzer could prove to continue that run, as they remain undefeated in four games away from the Audi Sportpark.

VfB Stuttgart team news

The build up to the game for die Roten has definitely been surrounding the injury and subsequent absence of forward, Daniel Ginczek. The former St. Pauli and Nürnberg man had been pivotal in Stuttgart's bid for survival last season; yet he will be ruled out until the new year at least with a Hernia injury, which was operated on last week.

Christian Gentner, Filip Kostic and Mitchell Langerak all seem likely to miss the game with Achillies, hamstring and knee injuries ruling the trio out respectively.

Despite the absence of the trio, Alexander Zorniger is expected to name a similar line-up to the one that fielded against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim last time out. Timo Werner is likely to continue in his more orthodox central striker role; the young German youth international scoring a last minute equaliser at the Rhein Neckar Arena before the international break.

Summer signing, Lukas Rupp will join Serey Die once more in the heart of play with Martin Harnik, Daniel Didavi and Alexandru Maxim ahead of the midfield anchor. Didavi in particular will be crucial if die Schwaben are to earn anything on Sunday eve, his brute directness can cause many a problem for opposition defences when on form. 

Predicted line-up: Tyton; Klein, Baumgartl, Schwaab, Insúa; Rupp, Die; Harnik, Maxim, Didavi; Werner.

FC Ingolstadt 04 team news

It's safe to say that die Schanzer have taken the Bundesliga by storm, as Ralph Hasenhüttl's side sit in sixth spot after eight games. The Audi Sportpark side became the first promoted side in Bundesliga history to win their opening three away games, all by the same 1-0 scoreline. 

In terms of injuries, die Schanzer have remained relatively unscathed; however for the game in Stuttgart they will be without a few familiar faces. Roger, who has impressed so far this season, will miss the game against die Schwaben after the Brazilian suffered a small ligament tear in the 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt before the international break. Almog Cohen, Danilo Soares and Konstantin Engel all also remain absent.

However in some good news for FC Ingolstadt 04, captain Marvin Matip overcame a late fitness test and has been passed fit to play at the Mercedes Benz Arena; the Cameroonian has been a stalwart at the back for die Schanzer and his miss would've served a huge blow. 

Despite their brilliant start manager, Hasenhüttl still insisted his side are underdogs for Sunday evenings game, even though their opponents are bottom. The Austrian said, "Despite the table situation we are still underdogs and we'll remain that throughout the entire season". The FC Ingolstadt 04 boss also commented on his opposite at VfB Stuttgart, Alexander Zorniger, saying "We know the play style of Zorniger from last year (when he was at RB Leipzig). It will be a close and contested game once again".

die Schanzer are expected start with a front three of Matthew Leckie, Lukas Hinterseer and Stefan Lex; the trio have all scored so far this season and Lex in-particular impressed in the win over die Adler last time out. Behind should be the unchanged duo of Pascal Groß and Max Christiansen, with Alfredo Morales replacing the injured Roger.

Predicted line-up: Özcan; Levels, Matip, Hübner, Suttner; Christiansen, Groß, Morales; Lex, Hinterseer, Leckie.

Previous meetings

This is the first competitive meeting between the two sides, partly down to die Schanzer's dramatic rise through the years as well as the previous success of die Schwaben. However, FC Ingolstadt did take of VfB Stuttgart II in a friendly last campaign; with die Schanzer running out 3-1 winners. 

Ingolstadt right back Tobias Levels has fielded against Stuttgart on six occasions for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Fortuna Düsseldorf, drawing on two occasions and defeated on four.