Almost fourteen days have passed since the home win over 1. FSV Mainz 05. On the personnel front, there have been changes in Bad Cannstatt in the meantime – both positive as well as negative. A bitter taste was left by the cruciate ligament tear suffered by Matthias Zimmermann. The midfielder, who incurred the injury during the test friendly against FC Ingolstadt, underwent surgery on Thursday. "Surgery went well and he is doing well under the circumstances. We’ll help him bounce back. In 2017 he was on the pitch for all the decisive games. He characterises intensity, culture and fighting spirit," stated Hannes Wolf.
Holger Badstuber will also miss out on this Sunday’s clash with his former employers Schalke (18:00 CET). The central defender has been suffering with muscular problems to the adductor region and could only train individually. "The game against Schalke comes too early for Holger. It’s not a serious injury though. Our goal is to have him fit for the next home game," noted Hannes Wolf. Daniel Ginczek (knee problem) also remains side-lined. "He can take quite a bit of strain, but he is still going through an individual programme. We will only introduce him back into full team training when he is 100% fit," insisted the VfB coach.
"Good blend within the team"
In Santiago Ascacibar and Andreas Beck, the head-coach has two new personnel options this weekend. The Argentine made use of the international break to get himself settled in his new surroundings. "He played well during the test in Großaspach. He’s a very open guy, with a good mentality," said the trainer. Whilst the 20-year-old hopes to make his debut in Germany’s top-flight with VfB, Andreas Beck is one of the more experienced players in the team. "It’s not difficult to get Andi integrated. He’s mature, experienced and should give us a boost," commented Hannes Wolf. Both new signings are candidates for Sunday’s 18-man squad. One definite member of that group will be Alexander Meyer. The goalkeeper, who made the move to VfB from FC Energie Cottbus in recent weeks, is second in line to first-choice keeper Ron-Robert Zieler. "I am very satisfied with our squad. We still have a young team, but there is a good blend in there. I’m looking forward to working with this team," glowed Hannes Wolf.
The 36-year-old will be hoping to have reason for high-spirits come 20:00 CET this Sunday evening, with his side taking something of value from Gelsenkirchen. "To do so, we will need top performances in every area of the pitch – and a little luck too," concluded Hannes Wolf.