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Stuttgart vs Union Berlin - Home advantage key in crunch clash
Stuttgart’s home form and class are vital factors in playoff 1st leg
Stuttgart's home support will be an important factor in the Bundesliga playoff 1st leg vs Union Berlin (Getty Images)
Stuttgart vs Union Berlin Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips
Stuttgart welcome Union Berlin to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in a crucial 1st leg Bundesliga playoff. Stuttgart have won their last two home matches in the Bundesliga, have a far superior squad and can I think there is value on offer at 1.70.
VfB Stuttgart Form & Team News
Stuttgart completed a dire Bundesliga season with a 0-0 at Schalke on Saturday. It was a fitting end to a miserable season that sees the Swabians faced with a playoff to preserve their top flight status.
Veterans Holger Badstuber, Christian Gentner, Daniel Didavi and Mario Gomez all started with Gentner and Didavi subbed off at half time. It remains to be seen what interim manager Nico Willig does with his starting XI here.
Greek forward Anastasios Donis was man of the match in Stuttgart’s previous match against Wolfsburg but didn’t feature against Schalke. Young central defender Ozan Kabak was another unused substitute who could also come back into the starting side.
Defensive midfielder Santiago Ascacibar could return from suspension here but Steven Zuber and Andreas Beck are injured. Stuttgart will be aiming to continue their strong home form where they beat Borussia Monchengladbach and 1-0 and Wolfsburg 3-0 in their previous two Bundesliga matches.
Stuttgart are paying 1.70 to make it three straight home wins which is my best bet. The Bundesliga club have won the last two home matches against 2 Bundesliga clubs in the playoffs and I think it will be three in a row on Thursday.
FC Union Berlin Form & Team News
Union Berlin missed out on automatic promotion to the Bundesliga on goal difference. A 2-2 draw at Bochum on the final matchday wasn’t enough for Urs Fischer’s side who drew 15 of their 34 matches in the 2 Bundesliga this season.
The capital club were 2-0 down in Bochum but were given a lifeline after Silvère Ganvoula’s 71st minute red card. Grischa Prömel and Joshua Mees scored late to set up a thrilling finale but a third goal wasn’t forthcoming.
Strikers Sebastian Andersson and Sebastian Polter have led the way this season, but most of Union Berlin’s success has come from a sturdy defence. Fischer’s side had the best defence in 2 Bundesliga with 33 goals conceded at just under one a game.
They have however stuttered on the road in recent weeks, failing to win in their last five matches on the road and conceding 2+ goals in six of their last nine away matches in the 2 Bundesliga. Can they turn it around?
Union Berlin are currently paying 4.00 to win in Stuttgart which would be a huge achievement. A draw would be a great result in the first leg which is paying 3.25, a price which could have support considering the visitors were the draw specialists in the 2 Bundesliga this season.
Stuttgart vs Union Berlin Head to Head
Stuttgart and Union Berlin met twice in the 2016/17 2 Bundesliga season. Union secured a 1-1 draw in Berlin and Stuttgart won 3-1 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Stuttgart vs Union Berlin Match Up
Stuttgart’s squad is valued at €160 million which is seven time more than Union Berlin’s squad which is valued at €23 million. With home advantage, a superior squad and winning form at the Mercedes-Benz Arena behind them it’s unsurprising that Stuttgart are favourites here.
Stuttgart manager Nico Willig was able to rest some key players on Saturday while Union had an energy sapping match at Bochum on Sunday. I think the extra rest and focus on this match will work in Stuttgart’s favour here.
Stuttgart vs Union Berlin Key Statistics
- Stuttgart have won their last 2 home matches (Bundesliga).
- Stuttgart have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 4 Bundesliga matches.
- Stuttgart’s squad is valued at €160 million.
- Union Berlin’s squad is valued at €23 million.
- Union Berlin have conceded 2+ goals in 6 of their last 9 away matches (2 Bundesliga).
- Union Berlin lost 3-1 in their previous away match against Stuttgart (2 Bundesliga).
Stuttgart have won their last two home matches to nil against two of the better Bundesliga clubs. Home advantage, extra preparation time and a superior squad means I am taking the 1.70 on a Stuttgart home win against Union Berlin.
Best Bet: Stuttgart Win @ 1.70 at bet365 - 6 Units
Value Bet: Stuttgart Win to Nil @ 2.75 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Correct Score Tip: Stuttgart Win 2-0 @ 7.00 at bet365 - 1 Unit
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