Sebastian Hoeneß's VfB Stuttgart sit in third place and have only lost once this calendar year in the Bundesliga. 

In recent weeks, the form of injured striker Deniz Undav has seen them claim vital wins against Freiburg and RB Leipzig.  

VfB Stuttgart are also unbeaten in their last four outings against the Billy Goats (three wins and a draw) in the Bundesliga.

On Saturday afternoon, a win against Köln would mean Stuttgart can move within one point of Bayern Munich in second place.

For Stuttgart, they head into this clash having scored two or more goals in all of their last four outings in the league.

On the other hand, Stuttgart's opponents Köln have had a slight upturn in form this year with seven points from their first five ties in 2024.

Despite this, defeat against Werder Bremen last game week meant that Mainz had the chance to close in on the Billy Goats in the relegation race.

For Köln, a win could see them move within three points of rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach in fifteenth with a game against them in two weeks time.

In spite of this, Köln have lacked a real source of goals having only netted fifteen so far in the Bundesliga.

Adding to this, Köln are without striker Davie Selke due to injury who has scored a third of all their goals this Bundesliga campaign.

Team News

VfB Stuttgart

Deniz Undav has been confirmed to be unavailable for the Köln clash this week following a hamstring problem. 

Alexander Nübel remains out with a hip problem and Pascal Stenzel will miss the tie due to a red card suspension.

Dan-Axel Zagadou is out for several months with a serious knee injury and both Samuele Di Benedetto and Nikolas Nartey will be unavailable due to knee and calf injuries respectively.

Also, Fabian Bredlow is a doubt for Stuttgart.

1. FC Köln

Köln are without Damion Downs due to concussion. Davie Selke returned to individual training but remains out with a foot injury.

Both Mark Uth and Luca Waldschmidt are out with a knee injury and broken leg respectively and are expected to make returns following the international break in March. Faride Alidou is also a doubt due to illness.


Predicted Lineups

VfB Stuttgart

Seimen; Vagnoman, Anton(c), Ito, Mittelstädt; Karazor, Stiller, Leweling, Millot; Führich, Guirassy

1. FC Köln

Schwäbe; Schmitz, Hübers, Chabot, Finkgräfe; Martel, Huseinbašić, Maina, Kainz (c),Ljubicic; Thielmann

Key Players

VfB Stuttgart- Serhou Guirassy

 

Serhou Guirassy has been one of the most effective finisher this season in the Bundesliga. 

The Guinean striker only sits behind Harry Kane in terms of goals scored this campaign in the Bundesliga. 

As well as this, Serhou Guirassy has been one of the most efficient strikers this campaign having scored eighteen of his fourty-eight shots (37.5%).

As well as this, Stuttgart have only lost one game this season in which the Guinean has scored in (against RB Leipzig on matchday two).

When injured, Stuttgart have struggled at times this season to work around the absence of the striker. 

 

1. FC Köln - Max Finkgräfe

 

Max Finkgräfe has been one of the standout players under Timo Schultz since the head coach took over from Steffen Baumgart.

Against Freiburg on matchday fifteen , Finkgräfe earnt his first Bundesliga start ever.

A brilliant performance from the nineteen-year-old against Eintracht Frankfurt saw Köln win their first game under Timo Schultz in early February.

The following week, a superb free-kick saw the youngster put Köln one-nil up in the draw against TSG Hoffenheim.

Lacking much attacking fluidity, Finkgräfe has provided an attacking option from a very defensive-minded Köln backline which has been transformed under Timo Schultz.

Match details

Where is the match being played? 

The match is being played at the MHP arena in Stuttgart.

What time is kick-off?

The match is set to kick-off at the MHP arena on Saturday at 14:30 (GMT).  

Where can I watch? 

Unfortunately, the game is not being broadcast for viewers in the United Kingdom. However, live score and live feed updates will be available on the Bundesliga website.