- Venue: Weserstadion
- Friday, 22 Feb, 19:30
- Referee: Robert Hartmann
Both teams are coming into this fixture on very different runs of form. Werder Bremen haven’t lost in any of their last five league matches, winning two and drawing three of them. They are still in the battle for the sixth place which guarantees a place in the Europa League qualifiers, but the competition for it is huge with teams like Hertha, Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen in the mix. Even though they are undefeated in their last five, Bremen need to start turning the draws into wins if they want to keep up with other teams.
After a decent campaign last season, Stuttgart have completely collapsed this year and are fighting to avoid relegation. Die Schwaben are currently 16th which is the place that guarantees a playoff against the third team from 2. Bundesliga, but the relegation battle will be fierce and may continue until the last round. Stuttgart have lost four out of their last five matches in the Bundesliga, the only draw being at home against Freiburg. The Reds are the second worst away team in the league and have collected only four points on the road so far. The only positive spark for the visitors is that they beat their opponents earlier in the season, although that game was played at Mercedes-Benz Arena.
|28 Sep 2018||Stuttgart 2:1 Werder Bremen||Bundesliga|
|21 Apr 2018||Stuttgart2:0 Werder Bremen||Bundesliga|
|02 Dec 2017||Werder Bremen 1:0 Stuttgart||Bundesliga|
|02 May 2016||Werder Bremen 6:2 Stuttgart||Bundesliga|
|06 Dec 2015||Stuttgart 1:1 Werder Bremen||Bundesliga|
Werder will have to deal with the absences of Fin Bartels and Aron Jóhannsson who are both injured. Yuya Osako and Martin Harnik are doubts for this match and will be assessed before kick-off. Bremen’s manager Florian Kohfeldt has to choose between Milos Veljkovic and Sebastian Langkamp for the starting spot in the middle of the defense. He can also go with Nuri Sahin or Philipp Bargfrede for the defensive midfielder position.
Stuttgart recently changed to a 3-3-2-1 formation, and it seems like manager Markus Weinzierl will using it, even though his side lost against RB Leipzig. Jan Kliment and Timo Baumgartl are out with long term injuries, while Nicolás González is suspended for the visit at Weserstadion. Weinzierl can choose between Borna Sosa and Emiliano Insúa for the left wing-back position, while in the middle of the pitch the question is whether Christian Gentner or Gonzalo Castro will start.
Мany outcomes are possible for this match, so it depends whether you would want higher odds and a riskier pick or choose to play it safe. Both teams need the three points, but Werder are simply better, and their form has been decent compared to Stuttgart’s recent result. That’s why the most logical pick here seems to be a win for Werder Bremen.
However, we often see sides who are fighting for their survival to overperform and surprise opponents that look much stronger than them. To be fair, Stuttgart played a lot better against Leipzig, even though they still lost. That’s why my prediction will go in a different direction, and I will focus on the goals in this game. We saw more than 2.5 goals in Stuttgart’s last six fixtures. Also, their defense is very leaky – they have conceded two or more goals in their previous seven games. Bremen also have high-scoring games when playing at home – six of their last seven matches at Weserstadion finished with more than 2.5 goals in them. These are the main reason why I expect this game to have a lot of goals in it.Prediction: Over 2.5 goals @ 5/7 at Bet365
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