VfB Stuttgart vs FC Augsburg Preview: Fuggerstädter look to make it four consecutive wins at Mercedes-Benz Arena

VfB Stuttgart face FC Augbsurg in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon in a game that will see one of the two lose their respective winning runs.

The hosts have won both of their Bundesliga games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena while their opponents come into the fixture on the back of three straight wins, leaving them fifth in the league table.

Home form could set Stuttgart on the path to redemption

One thing that newly promoted teams must get right if they are to survive their first season in the top-flight is their home form, and so far since returning to the Bundesliga Stuttgart have done just that.

Hannes Wolf's men have won both of their home games and have yet to concede at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with the two home fixtures against VfL Wolfsburg and 1. FSV Mainz 05 ending 1-0 in Stuttgart's favour.

Although Wolfsburg and Mainz were both mired in the relegation mud last season, meaning Stuttgart will endure tougher tests at home this season, winning games against the teams around them affords the Swabians the confidence to go and shock tougher opposition, such as Augsburg.

The wait for Simon Terodde's first goal this season continues after he drew another blank in the 2-0 defeat at Borussia Mönchengladbach in midweek and it is crucial that he finds his shooting boots soon, or his confidence will take a sizeable hit.

Stuttgart's top-scorer Chadrac Akolo was a big miss at Borussia-Park, and his goal threat out wide will be a vital asset should he return on Saturday afternoon as his side look to maintain their 100% home record.

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Fuggerstädter have bounced back from opening day defeat

After losing 1-0 in their season opener against Hamburger SV, Augsburg could have taken a hit to their confidence and struggled for the early portion of the season.

Instead they have bounced back emphatically and are unbeaten in four games, having won their last three against FC Köln, Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig, lifting them to fifth in the process.

Icelandic striker Alfreð Finnbogason has started the season in fine form with four goals and one assist in five league games, which is already one more goal than he managed across the 13 appearances he made for the club last season.

Manuel Baum is enjoying his first full season as Augsburg boss since taking the reigns in December 2016, and will hope to emulate the performance that saw Fuggerstädter romp to a 4-0 win at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in the last iteration of this fixture in November 2015.

Team news

Stuttgart are still without captain Christian Gentner after he underwent surgery this week on the head injury he suffered against Wolfsburg.

Emiliano Insúa and Carlos Mané are still unavailable for selection for the hosts while Holger Badstuber and top-scorer Akolo are injury doubts and could potentially miss Saturday's match.

Augsburg are also without their captain although under different circumstances, as Daniel Baier misses the game due to suspension after he was fined €20,000 and banned for one match for making an obscene gesture towards RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hassenhüttl in Augsburg's last game.

Predicted line-ups

VfB Stuttgart (3-4-2-1): Zieler; Pavard, Kaminski, Baumgartl; Aogo, Mangala, Ascacibar, Beck; Akolo, Donis; Terrode.

FC Augsburg (4-2-3-1): Hitz; Opare; Gouweleew, Hinteregger, Max; Koo, Khedira; Caiuby, Gregoritsch, Heller; Finnbogason.