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Professionals, 14. March 2019

“Active and alert from the first minute”

VfB Stuttgart will hope to build on the victory over Hannover 96 in their last home game when they take on TSG Hoffenheim at a packed Mercedes-Benz Arena this Saturday.

VfB have fond memories of taking on Hoffenheim on home soil. The Cannstatt club have won three of their last four home encounters with TSG, scoring 13 goals and conceding just five. The last time they played host to the Sinsheim outfit - on the penultimate day of last season - a Mario Gomez brace helped VfB win 2-0 to cap an impressive campaign in front of their own supporters.

Ahead of the 20th Bundesliga fixture between the two teams on Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET), VfB head coach Markus Weinzierl told reporters he has “great respect” for a Hoffenheim side with a “strong squad” and a “very dangerous” attack.

“The players are running and fighting for each other”

Weinzierl feels VfB’s improved defensive solidity is the “foundation from which we can attack with greater courage” in their upcoming games, adding: “We want to be active and alert from the first minute and give the 56,000 supporters something to shout about, like we did against Hannover in our last home game.”

The head coach also praised the strong feeling of togetherness within his squad. “You can tell that the players are running and fighting for each other and supporting one another,” he said. “Everyone puts their own objectives on the back-burner for the good of the team.”

Weinzierl had no fresh injuries to report ahead of Saturday’s clash with Julian Nagelsmann’s team. “We’re in a good position of having 21 healthy, fit and highly motivated outfield players to choose from,” said the 44-year-old.