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Professionals, 8. December 2023

“An attractive task”

Sebastian Hoeneß previews Sunday’s game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen at a sold-out MHPArena. The visitors will be backed by 4,200 fans on Matchday 14.

VfB play their third home match in the space of just nine days on Sunday when Bayer 04 Leverkusen visit the MHPArena for Bundesliga Matchday 14. Stuttgart boss Sebastian Hoeneß is in positive spirits ahead of the clash with the league leaders, telling the media on Friday: “The way they’re playing this season, we can expect to face a really good side. All the statistics point that way, but we’re also in a very good position ourselves.

“Leverkusen don’t give you many opportunities, but we’ve identified one or two areas where we can use the ball,” Hoeneß added of his team’s likely approach. “It’s difficult to trouble them when they’re in possession. We have to think about whether we limit their space at the back or go for it at the other end. It might make sense to do something in between.

“A lot will depend on form and motivation on the day, which will be high for both sides. We’re confident of upsetting them at home in front of our fans. Leverkusen are the only team in Europe who haven’t lost yet this season. Trying to become the first team [to beat them] is an enjoyable, attractive task. It’s going to be hard enough, but we’re going to try.”

Hoeneß has no fresh injury concerns following the DFB Cup victory over Borussia Dortmund in midweek.