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Discussion Starter #1
VfB Stuttgart Thread

One of the top teams in the Bundesliga, VfB Stuttgart are playing impressive football. Discuss everything relating to them here.
 

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Nice move Genk,


I think stuttgart will qualify for the CL this year, atleast i hope.

Ofcourse, i still think its a race between Werder and Bayern for the title
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Return of Marco:
Streller get first touch

In recent weeks Marco Streller was hardly ever seen in Stuttgart. The VfB striker decided to train for his comeback in his home town of Basel after breaking his leg while preparing for the European Championship with the Swiss national team. Streller has now returned to Stuttgart and worked on the training field today.

Feeling for the ball

Whilst the other VfB players were treated to a day off after the successful game in the first round of the Cup Streller was accompanied onto the training ground by physiotherapist Ralph Frank. The Swiss international was even allowed to get his first touch of the ball with simple passing exercises and juggling the ball being part of the programme, which was put together for Streller to get his feeling for the ball back. After the training session we took the chance to speak to the striker.

Marco, your first touches looked very promising. How are you feeling at the moment?
Marco Streller: "Thanks, I am fine and very happy. I am very tired, but pleased nonetheless with the session. It is great to be allowed to do something else than cycling and aqua-jogging. Obviously the session today was a lot harder."

You picked up the injury about three months ago and will need another three months before returning. How have things been going?
Marco Streller: "There haven’t been any problems so far and I am well on my way. There is always the danger of complications cropping up, but the chance is getting smaller by the day. However, if something did happen then I would have to accept the fact. But I am very optimistic that everything will continue to run smoothly."

Today must have been a great day for you. You were allowed your first touch of the ball again. Has it given you extra motivation?
Marco Streller: "It was great to get the ball back at my feet and I must say that we got on well again very quickly. I am obviously not as good as I used to be yet, but lucky I injured my stronger left foot and that should make things a lot easier for me."

What will happen in the upcoming days and weeks?
Marco Streller: "I will stay in Stuttgart until tomorrow evening and train here again tomorrow. The I will go back to Basel for ten days, where I have got a physiotherapist to myself. I met him when I played for FC Basel and he can spare four or five hours every day for me. That allows me to work a lot harder there than here in Stuttgat where three physios have to look after 23 players."

And when will we see you back in action on the field with your team-mates?
Marco Streller: "Hopefully this year. That is what I am working for and I will do it. I owe it to the club, the team and the fans."
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Trip to Oberhausen

Former German international Maren Meinert was asked to make the draw for the second round of the German Cup on Sunday evening and Meinert handed VfB an away game against second division Rot-Weiß Oberhausen. The team coached by Jörn Andersen beat Hannover 96’s reserves in the first round of the competition.
It is the second time in the history of the DFB Cup that both sides have come up against each other. In the 1985/1986 season VfB won 5-4 at home against Oberhausen in the first round of the competition.
The second round fixtures will be played on Tuesday, September 21 2004 and Wednesday, September 22 2004. The exact date for the VfB match in Oberhausen hasn’t been released yet.

Quotes on the draw:

Coach Matthias Sammer: "It is a very tough draw. Rot-Weiß Oberhausen were one of the leading teams in the second division last season and are one of the favourites to win promotion this year. But we obviously want to reach the next round: Oberhausen will surely give us a run for our money."

Skipper Zvonimir Soldo: "Oberhausen played some excellent football last season and surprised a lot of people. However, we should win and go through to the next round."

Defender Philipp Lahm: "We obviously would have preferred a home game because away ties are always tough, no matter if the opponent is from the first, second or third division. We all want to reach the next round."

Defender Andreas Hinkel: "It is not an easy game. It is always hard taken on a second division side on their own turf, but we still want to win and go through to the next round."

Midfielder Silvio Meißner: "Sadly we haven’t been handed a home game. We will take Oberhausen very seriously because we all want to qualify for the next round. We could have been given a worse draw, especially considering that Lautern will take on Schalke and Bremen will host Leverkusen."
 

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Dreierpack von Kuranyi

Eine Änderung nahm VfB-Cheftrainer Matthias Sammer im Vergleich zum letzten Pflichtspiel im Pokal vor einer Woche in Mayen in seiner Startformation auf dem Kaiserslauterner Betzenberg vor. Der in der Liga gelb-rot-gesperrte Cacau wurde durch Imre Szabics ersetzt, der an der Seite von Nationalspieler Kevin Kuranyi stürmte.
Der VfB begann engagiert und hatte nach wenigen Sekunden die erste Halbchance, als Kevin Kuranyi seinen Sturmpartner Imre Szabics bediente, dessen Schuss im Strafraum von Timo Wenzel geblockt wurde, weshalb Keeper Tim Wiese den Ball letztlich sicher aufnehmen konnte. Eine Minute später war Wiese erneut gefordert, als er in höchster Not eine Rechtsflanke von Silvio Meißner vor dem bereit stehenden Kevin Kuranyi zur Ecke ablenken konnte. Der VfB war auch danach dominant, griff früh an und zwang die Gastgeber bereits im Aufbauspiel zu Fehlern, weshalb Kaiserslautern vorwiegend mit langen Bällen agierte, die freilich selten an den eigenen Mann kamen. Die erste klare Chance der Partie hatte die Sammer-Elf nach einer guten Viertelstunde als ein Steilpass von Fernando Meira Imre Szabics erreichte, der alleine auf das FCK-Tor zustürmte und sich für einen Schlenzer entschied, den Keeper Tim Wiese parieren konnte. Dabei hatte der Ungar auch noch die Möglichkeit den mitgelaufenen Kevin Kuranyi zu bedienen, der freistehend den Ball hätte versenken können. Erst nach zwanzig Minuten kam der Gastgeber zu seiner ersten Gelegenheit. Eine Ecke von Ferydoon Zandi köpfte Andreas Hinkel zunächst aus der Gefahrenzone. Nach einer Kopfballstafette an deren Ende sich Timo Wenzel im Luftkampf gegen Silvio Meißner durchsetzen konnte, landete der Ball beim freistehenden Carsten Jancker, der in zentraler Position aus gut 15 Metern das Spielgerät nicht richtig traf, weshalb die Kugel knapp am linken Pfosten des VfB-Kastens vorbeiging.

Führung durch Kuranyi, doch Seitz und Jancker drehten das Ergebnis

Der VfB war optisch weiter klar überlegen und erspielte sich nach 28 Minuten eine weitere Chance. Doch eine Rechtsflanke von Andreas Hinkel köpfte Silvio Meißner links am FCK-Tor vorbei. Nach etwas mehr als einer halben Stunde sollte sich dann die VfB-Dominanz auch im Ergebnis niederschlagen. Alexander Hleb bediente an der Strafraumgrenze Silvio Meißner mit einem Pass in die Tiefe. Meißner drehte sich zum zwei Pfälzer Abwehrspieler und schoss aus 15 Metern aufs Tor, wo er zunächst in Tim Wiese seinen Meister finden sollte, der mit einem Reflex parierte, doch den Abpraller verwertete Kevin Kuranyi ohne Mühe zum 0:1. Der Jubel der mitgereisten VfB-Fans dauerte aber nur vier Minuten, denn nach einem langen Ball von Hervé Lembi konnte sich Carsten Jancker an der Strafraumgrenze im Zweikampf behaupten und den Ball auf Jochen Seitz spielen, der schneller als Andreas Hinkel reagierte und mit einem Flachschuss ins rechte untere Eck zum Ausgleich traf. Und nur drei Minuten später war Fernando Meira nach einem schlechten Pass ins Mittelfeld und einem damit verbundenen Ballverlust im Zweikampf mit Carsten Jancker am rechten Strafraumeck zu zögerlich, weshalb der Ex-Nationalspieler zum Abschluss kam und mit einem satten Flachschuss via Innenpfosten das 2:1 für die bis dahin schwachen Lauterer markierte. Mit dieser etwas schmeichelhaften Führung aus Sicht der Hausherren ging es in die Kabinen. Der VfB war lange tonangebend, geriet dann aber durch Nachlässigkeiten ins Hintertreffen.
Während die Pfälzer unverändert zum zweiten Durchgang zurückkehrten, musste VfB-Cheftrainer Matthias Sammer den angeschlagenen Fernando Meira, der sich bei einem Zweikampf vor der Pause verletzt hatte, durch Markus Babbel ersetzen.

Seitz vergab eine Hundertprozentchance, Kuranyi traf zum Ausgleich

Babbel hatte den Ball noch nicht einmal berührt, als Ex-VfB-Spieler Jochen Seitz seinen zweiten Treffer Sekunden nach Wiederbeginn auf recht kuriose Art und Weise verpasste. Nach einer flachen Hereingabe von Ferydoon Zandi vom rechten Flügel hätte Seitz nur noch den Fuß hinhalten müssen, doch anstatt die Kugel im verwaisten VfB-Tor zu versenken, stolperte er über das Spielgerät, das letztlich aus der Gefahrenzone rollte. Der VfB ließ sich von dieser vergebenen Großchance nicht beeindrucken und antwortete nur sieben Minuten später auf seine Art. Ein Distanzschuss von Zvonimir Soldo klatschte nach 53 Minuten an die Querlatte des FCK-Tores und wie schon beim 0:1 reagierte Kevin Kuranyi am schnellsten und haute die Kugel zum 2:2 unter die Latte. Doch auch nach dem Ausgleich waren Abstimmungsprobleme in der VfB-Defensive nicht zu übersehen. So wären die Hausherren nur 120 Sekunden nach dem 2:2 fast erneut zur Führung gekommen. Doch der auf rechts durchgebrochene Mikic konnte sich wohl zwischen Torschuss und Pass nicht ganz entscheiden, so dass der Ball am herausstürzenden Timo Hildebrand zwar vorbei in Richtung VfB-Tor rollte, aber vom nachsetzenden Carsten Jancker nicht mehr erreicht werden konnte. Kaiserslautern war indes nach der Pause wesentlich engagierter und torgefährlicher als in den ersten 45 Minuten und hatte durch den aufgerückten Hervé Lembi nach Freistoß von Ferydoon Zandi nach einer knappen Stunde eine Kopfballchance, die VfB-Keeper Timo Hildebrand zunichte machen konnte. Aber auch der VfB spielte weiter forsch nach vorne und Kevin Kuranyi haute nach 61 Minuten eine weite Rechtsflanke von Martin Stranzl am langen Pfosten volley über das Pfälzer Tor. Das Spiel wurde fortan in der typischen Betzenberg-Atmosphäre ruppiger, da die Gastgeber mit großem Einsatz die technische Überlegenheit der Sammer-Elf ausgleichen wollten. Folge davon waren zahlreiche Spielunterbrechungen und Standardsituationen. So konnte zum Beispiel Christian Nerlinger Mitte des zweiten Durchgangs nach einem Freistoß vor Silvio Meißner zur Ecke klären und damit eine weitere VfB-Chance vereiteln.

Kuranyis dritter Streich

Zwanzig Minuten vor dem Ende reagierten beide Trainer und brachten frisches Personal ins Spiel. Bei Lautern ersetzte Halil Altintop Ferydoon Zandi und Matthias Sammer schickte Christian Tiffert anstelle von Horst Heldt auf den Platz. Die nächsten Gelegenheiten gehörten dem VfB, doch Imre Szabics scheiterte nach einem Steilpass von Alexander Hleb aus spitzem Winkel am herausstürzenden Tim Wiese, dessen Abwehr schon allein deshalb notwendig war, da im Zentrum Kevin Kuranyi gelauert hatte. Und Sekunden später zog Silvio Meißner etwas überhastet vom rechten Strafraumeck aus ab und verfehlte das Tor deshalb am Ende weit. Kevin Kuranyi köpfte eine Stranzl-Flanke anschließend aus spitzem Winkel auf das FCK-Tor und Tim Wiese konnte sicher zupacken. Auf der anderen Seite drosch Ex-VfB-Spieler Timo Wenzel einen Freistoß in zentraler Position aus gut 25 Metern in die gut postierte VfB-Mauer. Der Mann des Tages war aber ohne Zweifel VfB-Angreifer Kevin Kuranyi, der neun Minuten vor dem Ende die Pfälzer mit seinem dritten Tor schockte. Ein Zuspiel von Imre Szabics nahm der Nationalstürmer am rechten Strafraumeck an und drosch die Kugel am schlecht aussehenden Lauterer Keeper vorbei ins kurze Eck zum 2:3. VfB-Trainer Matthias Sammer reagierte auf die neuerliche Führung umgehend und ersetzte Angreifer Imre Szabics für die Schlussminuten durch den defensiven Mittelfeldspieler Jurica Vranjes. Trotzdem spielte der VfB weiter nach vorne und nach einer flachen Hereingabe von Alexander Hleb von der linken Seite verhinderte Tim Wiese mit einem Reflex ein viertes Tor von Kevin Kuranyi, als der FCK-Torwart gerade noch das Zuspiel auf den VfB-Mittelstürmer unterbinden und somit seinen Fehler beim 2:3 wieder gut machen konnte. Erst in der Schlussminute musste VfB-Keeper Timo Hildebrand noch einmal eingreifen, doch die Nummer eins des VfB hatte mit einem Distanzschuss von Jochen Seitz keine Mühe und packte sicher zu. Bereits in der Nachspielzeit fand ein Steilpass des eingewechselten Christian Tiffert gegen die aufgerückte FCK-Mannschaft Kevin Kuranyi, dem sich eine erstklassige Gelegenheit zum vierten Tor bot, doch Tim Wiese parierte den Schuss des VfB-Stürmers, was freilich an der Niederlage seiner Lauterer nichts änderte.

Der VfB gewann verdientermaßen auf dem Betzenberg. Die erste Hälfte dominierte die Sammer-Elf fast gänzlich und ging folgerichtig in Führung. Zwei Nachlässigkeiten ließen den FCK zurück ins Spiel finden und mit einer Führung in die Pause gehen. Nach Wiederbeginn hatte der VfB dann bei der Großchance von Jochen Seitz Glück, was sicher eine Vorentscheidung gewesen wäre. Statt 3:1 hieß es wenig später 2:2 und gegen kräftemäßig nachlassende Gastgeber machte der überragende Kevin Kuranyi in der Schlussphase mit seinem dritten Treffer den Sack vollends zu.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
27.08.2004
VfB face Ujpesti TE

At this afternoons first round draw of the UEFA Cup in Monte Carlo VfB Stuttgart were handed Ujpesti TE from Budapest. The matches of the first knockout round will be played on Thursday, September 16 2004 and Thursday, September 30 2004. The team coached by Géza Mészöly is currently ninth in the Hungarian first division after drawing once and losing once in the first two games of the season. Last season the club from the Hungarian capital finished third in the league.

Genf beaten in qualification

Ujpesti beat Servette Genf from Switzerland in the qualifying round 3-1 and 2-0 and secured a place in the first round of the UEFA Cup. Ujpesti have celebrated 13 championships and nine Hungarian Cup wins in their history. The side from the Hungarian capital plays its home games in the Megyeri-uti-Stadium that has a capacity of 13,500.

Quotes on the draw:

Chairman Erwin Staudt: "We are looking forward to the trip to Budapest. Ujpesti have won numerous titles in the past and can look back on a long tradition. However, I think we have a good chance of making the group stage."

Coach Matthias Sammer: "I don’t really know Ujpesti all that well, but football in Hungary is improving. It is our goal to reach the group stage of the UEFA Cup and I think we have a got chance of succeeding."

Striker Imre Szabics: "Ujpesti knocked Servette Genf out in the qualifying round and that shows that the side has quality. They have got a young and talented team. I have never faced a Hungarian team in a match in Europe and therefore I can’t say what I will feel like. I am looking forward to the match and will do my best because we want to go a long way in the UEFA Cup this season."

Midfielder Horst Heldt: "I will have to ask Imre about the opponents before I say anything. No, to be serious; we want to reach the group stage and I think we have a good chance of succeeding."

Goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand: "VfB has always looked good against teams from Hungary in the past. I missed the UEFA Cup match against Ferencvaros two years ago because of injury. Therefore I am really looking forward to the match."

Midfielder Sivio Meißner: "The draw could have been a lot worse and it is an advantage to play away from home first. We obviously can’t afford to underestimate them. Germany found out what happens then when they lost to the Hungarian national team."
 

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Babbel and Cacau score

After two successive home wins over Bayer 04 Leverkusen (3-0) in the Bundesliga and against Ujpesti TE (4-0) in the UEFA Cup coach Matthias Sammer decided to look to the same starting line-up for the third time in a row in the away game against DSC Arminia Bielefeld in the Schüco-Arena because he saw no reason to make any changes.
Both teams started in a positive fashion but the first chance of the game didn’t come along until the tenth minute. Imre Szabics should have given VfB the lead after a Horst Heldt free-kick, but the Hungarian international failed to make contact with the ball despite being left wide open and the chance went begging. Elsewhere the hosts needed 17 minutes before they came up with anything promising in front of the VfB goal. Fatmir Vata flicked a cross from Markus Schuler on for Delron Buckley, but Martin Stranzl came over to tidy up the situation. Stranzl’s clearance led to a good counter attack. Imre Szabics chased the long ball, but Arminia goalie Mathias Hain came racing off his line to make a vital clearance before the Hungarian could cash in on the chance. In the following minutes neither side managed to break down the opponents’ defence and real chances were few and far between. Midway through the first half VfB threatened again when Alexander Hleb found Cacau on the edge of the area, but the Brazilian’s effort was turned away by Bielefeld ‘keeper Mathias Hain. However, even if the ball had gone into the back of the net the goal would have counted because Cacau was judged to be offside. Over at the other end Bielefeld had a chance of similar quality. Ervin Skela curled a free-kick into the are, that VfB goalie Timo Hildebrand managed to palm away. Once again referee Stefan Trautmann saw an infringement and play continued with a VfB free-kick.

Babbel strike just before the break

VfB were awarded a free-kick on 32 minutes after Alexander Hleb had been brought down 25 meters from goal, but Silvio Meißner’s effort failed to beat Bielefeld’s wall. Fourminutes later Detlev Dammeier sent a cross into the VfB penalty area, that fell for Delron Buckley, but the South African international failed to trouble Timo Hildebrand with his header. Neither side managed to come up with much in the following minutes, but at least Matthias Sammer’s side managed to increase the pressure just before the break with both Cacau and Horst Heldt coming close after some good passing from Alexander Hleb. Just like in recent weeks a set-piece gave VfB the lead two minutes from half-time. Martin Stranzl flicked on a Horst Heldt corner and Bielefeld defender Petr Gabriel deflected the ball onto the bar, leaving Markus Babbel with the easiest of header to give Stuttgart the lead at half-time.
Whilst the hosts returned unchanged for the second half VfB coach Matthias Sammer decided to make a change. Imre Szabics was taken off and replaced by Christian Tiffert, who partnered Cacau up front. However, the substitution had no effect on the match to begin with and both teams’ defences dominated the action on the field. The next chance didn’t come a long until the 57th minute when Patrick Owomoyela headed wide after a Markus Schuler cross from the left wing.

Cacau strikes late

Bielefeld managed to increase the pressure with about an hour played and Markus Babbel made a vital tackle against Matthias Langkamp after a Dammeier free-kick. A few minutes later Markus Babbel arrived just in time to stop Delron Buckley after the South African international had been released by Ervin Skela. The only VfB chance during this stage of the game came from midfielder Silvio Meißner, who blasted over the bar after some good work from Christian Tiffert. But other than that it was all Bielefeld. First Rüdiger Kauf sent his effort from the edge of the area over the bar and only seconds later Finn Holsing almost got an equaliser on his debut, but the youngster steered his shot wide. 20 minutes from the end Bielefeld coach Uwe Rapolder sent on two fresh players in Bernd Rauw and Klodian Duro, which immediately saw VfB coach Matthias Sammer take Horst Heldt off and replace him with Jurica Vranjes. VfB had the next chance of the game when Christian Tiffert found Cacau, but the Brazilian was kept away from goal by the defence and his shot failed to trouble Arminia ‘keeper Mathias Hain. Still trailing by a goal Arminia had to play all or nothing in the final ten minutes. Striker Marijo Maric came on for defender Petr Gabriel, who was pulled of because of injury. However, Arminia couldn’t come up with anything to really trouble the VfB defence in the dying minutes. Elsewhere VfB struck again deep into additional time. Alexander Hleb read Cacau’s run perfectly, fed the ball to the Brazilian, who cut inside from the left wing and beat Mathias Hain with his strike from the edge of the area.

All in all VfB deserved to win a match that didn’t have many highlights to offer. Markus Babbel cashed in on one of the few chances in the first half to give VfB the lead. The hosts had more possession after the break, but the VFB defence never looked worried by their attempts and a good counter attack in the dying seconds secured victory for the visitors.
 

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UEFA CUP Draw:

Stuttgart (Germany)
Benfica (Portugal)
Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)
Heerenveen (Holland)
Beveren (Belgium)
top three advance to the next round, what do you guys think? Benfica and Stuttgart should be able to go to the next round.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think Suttgart will end up in first, Benfica in second.
 

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I really enjoyed myself watching Stuttgart yesterday against Borussia Dortmund. Cacau is really in fire no? Add to that the return of Kuranyi and I think they will be very succesful this season. But that goal by Cacau man! It was stunning! :cool: :excited:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I haven't seen the highlights yet, so I can't really comment on the match. Cacau has been on fire though, bit surprising. I wasn't a big fan of his when he was signed.
 

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I just can't until this UEFA Cup group starts, realistically Benfica and Stuttgart are the heavy favorites while most likely Dinamo Zagreb, Heerenveen and Beveren will play for the top three spots.
Zvonimir Soldo is very excited about playing his former club while Vranjes also did many interviews in Croatia basically saying Stuttgart and Benifca are favorites but Dinamo SHOULD be the third team to advance.
All I know about Heerenveen is they recently beat Ajax away and Beveren are a young team and half the sqaud is Ivory Coast internationals :D
 

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HajdukSplit said:
basically saying Stuttgart and Benifca are favorites but Dinamo SHOULD be the third team to advance.
no no, Beveren should be the one :party:
 

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Wow, Freiburg's Iashvili and Coulibaly stopped them 2-0 today, relegating Stuttgart to second place behind Wolfsburg.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Couldn't believe it, but anything can happen in the big matches...
 

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Saw Coulibaly's goal. What a thing of beauty that was. He hit the freekick from way out, it took one bounce off the ground, and then went past Hildebrand.
 
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