Can Leipzig start with a victory?

Germany: Bundesliga

Mercedes-Benz-Arena

By Ben Sully

After a successful campaign last term, Leipzig will be looking to get the 2022-23 Bundesliga season up and running with a win against Stuttgart, while the hosts will attempt to win their opening league game for the second straight season.

Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0

Stuttgart


Stuttgart will hope to enjoy a slightly less dramatic season than the one they experienced last term.
Pellegrino Mattarazzo’s side spent the majority of the previous campaign battling to stay in the division. With the score in their final day encounter against FC Köln level at one apiece as the contest entered stoppage time, it seemed as though Stuttgart would be involved in the relegation playoff. However, a 92nd-minute winner from Wataru Endo moved Die Schwaben out of the bottom three to ensure they will participate in the Bundesliga for another season.

Since avoiding relegation last term, Stuttgart have seen seven players head through the exit door, including Orel Mangala who has joined Nottingham Forest.

While several players have left, there have also been a number of new additions. After spending the last two years on loan at Stuttgart, Konstantinos Mavropanos has signed on a permanent deal. Hiroki Ito has also returned on a permanent transfer following a loan spell, while Josha Vagnoman and Luca Pfeiffer have also arrived this summer.

Darko Churlinov has also returned to the club after spending last season on loan at Schalke, and the 22-year-old grabbed the only goal in Stuttgart’s first round DFB-Pokal tie against Dynamo Dresden last weekend.

With a place in the second round secured, Stuttgart will turn their attention to their opening Bundesliga game against Leipzig, where the hosts have the chance to win consecutive league openers for the first time since 2004.

Team News


Waldemar Anton was sent off in the cup win, but his suspension will not carry over into the Bundesliga. Although Anton will be available, Stuttgart have another injury absentees, with Thomas Kastanaras, Nikolas Nartey and Tanguy Coulibaly all expected to miss Sunday’s contest.

RB Leipzig


Leipzig will be dreaming of another successful season after qualifying for the Champions League and winning their first major trophy last term.

After taking over from Jesse March in December, Domenico Tedesco successfully guided his new side to a top-four place, a Europa League semi-final and a penalty shootout win over Freiburg in the final of the DFB-Pokal.

As a result of their cup win, Leipzig featured in last weekend’s Super Cup against Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. A poor first half display resulted in the Bavarians taking a three-goal lead into the break, before Marcel Halstenberg pulled a goal back just after the restart. Serge Gnabry reestablished the three-goal advantage, but a Christopher Nkunku penalty and an 89th-minute strike from Dani Olmo set up a grandstand finish.

Although Leroy Sane wrapped up a 5-3 victory in the eighth minute of stoppage time, Leipzig would have taken confidence from their second half fightback.

Tedesco has won six of his 10 away league games as Leipzig boss and will be hoping his side can add a seventh victory on Sunday. They will certainly be confident in doing so after winning their last six Bundesliga meetings with Stuttgart.

Team News


Yussuf Poulsen is ruled out with a groin injury, while Joško Gvardiol – who has been linked with a move away from Leipzig this summer – is a doubt after missing the Super Cup through injury.

Predicted lineups
Final lineups are posted before start.

Stuttgart

DFB Pokal
Dresden – Stuttgart 0-1
33 F. Bredlow
5 K. Mavropanos
2 W. Anton
21 H. Ito
4 J. Vagnoman
3 W. Endo (C)
32 N. Ahamada ↪64
10 T. de Melo Tomás ↪85
22 C. Führich ↪85
17 D. Churlinov ↪74
14 S. Wamangituka ↪74
Bench
1 F. Müller
11 J. Perea ↩74
27 A. Kuol
15 P. Stenzel ↩74
6 C. Mola ↩85
8 E. Millot ↩64
25 L. Egloff ↩85
36 L. Ulrich
RB Leipzig

Super Cup
RB Leipzig – FC Bayern 3-5
1 P. Gulácsi (C)
2 M. Simakan ↪79
4 W. Orban
23 M. Halstenberg
16 L. Klostermann
27 K. Laimer
44 K. Kampl ↪52
39 B. Henrichs
17 D. Szoboszlai ↪90
10 E. Forsberg ↪52
18 C. Nkunku
Bench
21 J. Blaswich
19 A. Silva ↩52
38 H. Novoa Ramos ↩79
25 S. Ba
7 Daniel Olmo ↩52
8 A. Haidara ↩90
24 X. Schlager

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