Stuttgart v Kiel | Sunday 20th October 2019, 12:30
Stuttgart continued their yo-yo trend of alternating between the top-two Bundesliga leagues last season and again find themselves in the second tier of German football. In 2015/16 and 2018/19 they’ve dropped down, but would win promotion back in 2016/17 and they’ll be looking for another immediate return.
It is a case of so far, so good in their quest to make that a reality as they’re second in the table after nine games, winning six. They didn’t however suffer a shock home defeat to bottom side Wehen prior to the international break, so they’re firmly looking to bounce back when entertaining another side in the bottom-three in the form of Kiel.
As for Kiel, as mentioned, they’re in the bottom-three, losing three of their last four. They did enjoy a fine 3-0 success in their last away game at Greuther Furth to prove that they can indeed be a danger on the road. They have achieved two top-six finishes since winning promotion into this level but they’ve certainly experienced things much tougher this time around.
The issue for Kiel is the lack of clean sheets, with that win in Furth the only time they’ve managed to achieve one in the league this season. They have managed to score in seven of their nine league fixtures so far, meaning that there is a goal threat within them. Also, along with Heidenheim, they’ve conceded the first goal more than any other side in the league.
The league table doesn’t lie in this case and Stuttgart are unsurprisingly big favourites to win. It is hoped that it was just a bad day at the office when Wehen defeated them, and having had the international break to mull that over you’d think they can bounce back. However, I’m still not totally convinced by them, which may seem strange with them sitting second, losing once all season and winning four of their last five.
However, these have mostly been close games and on a few of those occasions the result could have gone the other way. Their wins read 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 3-2, 2-0 and 1-0.
Kiel have been beaten 3-0 once but other than that they too have largely been included in close encounters, plus the 3-0 win of their own. Given they have back-to-back top six finishes to their name you would expect them to recover their sluggish start at some point. Fine margins are going against them, something Stuttgart are certainly enjoying the run of the green from. They have the class edge but Kiel will raise their game, something opponents against Stuttgart tend to do.
I honestly can’t bring myself to back Stuttgart outright here knowing they have a result like the Wehen match within them. I expect them to avoid defeat at least however, so the bet-builder is called upon.
Stuttgart Double Chance and Both Teams To Score is the play. Stuttgart play aggressively at home and quite often get caught on the break, proved by the fact they’ve only one clean sheet there all season. I do think BTTS is often a good bet when Stuttgart are involved as anyone really can beat anyone in this league, and they’re generally short-priced favourites when taking to the field.
Rapid Vienna v Wolfsberger | Sunday 20th October 2019, 16:00
There is an attractive-looking contest taking place in the Austrian Bundesliga on Sunday with Rapid Vienna and Wolfsberger taking to the field. These two are positioned inside the top-four going into this weekend, sitting six and eight points respectively behind expectant and usual league leaders Red Bull Salzburg.
What is perhaps key to remember is that Wolfsberger are involved in European competition and are participated in the UEFA Europa League group stages. They’ve already been away to Gladbach and smashed them 4-0 and drew at home to Roma. This is a club that is really on the up; almost out of nowhere really.
In a way, Wolfsberger are probably in a place that Rapid Vienna themselves were in a few years or so ago. They too have flirted with European competition, including last season when in the same UEL group as Rangers. They last won this league back in 2007/08 and it appears a long way off them earning their 33rd league triumph given how dominate Salzburg are.
If anyone, Wolfsberger could be the side to potentially give Salzburg a run for their money given the momentum they have generated. They’ve only lost twice all season in all competitions, although one was a 5-2 setback in Salzburg. However, they’re now unbeaten in ten, winning eight, so confidence isn’t a problem right now.
This really does have the makings of quite an exciting game given that both will certainly push to win. Both have similarities in terms of style of play and know the importance of a victory, even at this early stage.
There are a few differences however based on their season so far which could impact the end outcome.
One of those is that fact that Rapid Vienna are a little inconsistent at home. This is a surprise as for so long their strong home record has made up for quite a dreadful equivalent on the road. They’ve W4-D1-L0 away matches this season, but their home record of W2-D1-L1 is frustrating.
Yes, one of those losses was to Salzburg, but drawing to Hartberg and edging out lowly Altach in a tight game proves they are completely reliable.
Wolfsberger are known for a strong defensive record having achieved 6/10 clean sheets in the league so far. Three of those came away from home, and all in wins. Rapid Vienna however will offer them a stern defensive examination on a count of them failing to score at home in only one match since February, that came against (you guessed it) Salzburg.
Once more I do think the bet-builder has to be utilised on this occasion. Wolfsberger Double Chance and Over 1 Goal is a nice 1/1 (Bet365) shot. Rapid’s inconsistent home form does concern me a bit and I do think they’ll come up short against the better sides in the league more often than not.
Also, only three of the 20 games combined that these two have played featured Over 1.5 Goals, whilst nine of the last 11 head-to-head has gone so, too.