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Friday, February 11, 2005 

Hamburg SV - VfB Stuttgart - Preview

On Saturday HSV take on high-flying VfB Stuttgart in the AOL Arena in round 21 of the Bundesliga. The side coached by Matthias Sammer are currently four places above and as many points ahead of the Hamburg club. The match looks like being one of the most attractive of round 21, as two attack-minded sides lock horns in front of what should be a 50,000 crowd in the wonderful AOL Arena.

HSV with their tails up
The home side have won six of their last eight games whereas Stuttgart has failed to win their last two. HSV lost the first meeting between the two sides 0-2 earlier in the season, but Sammer and his side know full well that they will face a completely different side on Saturday. Since taking charge, Thomas Doll has instilled new confidence into his players who now believe that they can beat any side on their day.

Hamburg at full strength, Stuttgart without Cacau
Coach Doll has the rare luxury of being able to pick his side from a full strength squad. Khalid Boulahrouz playe3d superbly in midweek in Holland’s 0-0 draw away to England, and experienced no further problems with the shoulder that had been troubling him during the past few weeks. Doll will pick exactly the same side which emphatically won 3-1 away to Nürnberg last time out. Stuttgart will be without their Brazilian striker Cacau, who is serving a one match suspension after picking up a fifth yellow card, during the 1-1 home draw against Kaiserslautern in round 21.

Nice to see you
HSV’s young midfielder Hleb will be trying especially hard in training this week. He would love to be brought on at some time on Saturday and pit his wits against his older brother who plays for Stuttgart. Thomas Doll said earlier in the week that his young German international striker Benny Lauth will not start the match, but could make an appearance later in the game. The HSV faithful will surely be calling for him on Saturday!

Babbel returns to Hamburg
Stuttgart will be bringing a former HSV favourite with them to the AOL Arena on Saturday. Much-travelled Markus Babbel returns to his old stomping ground, where he played 71 times for HSV (albeit in the old Volkspark stadium). He left HSV in 1994 for Bayern, where he went on to win just about every possible trophy in the game. From there he went to play for Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers.

Possible line-ups:

HSV: 1 Pieckenhagen - 2 Schlicke, 21 Boulahrouz, 5 van Buyten, 16 Klingbeil - 7 Mahdavikia, 6 Wicky, 22 Beinlich - 14 Jarolim - 10 Barbarez, 32 Takahara

Reserves: 23 Wächter (Gk), 4 B. Reinhardt, 8 Moreira, 11 Lauth, 13 L. Haas, 17 Donde, 18 Hampel, 19 Kucukovic, 20 A. Hleb, 24 Brecko, 25 Mpenza, 27 Laas, 28 Benjamin

VfB Stuttgart: 1 Hildebrand - 2 Hinkel, 3 Stranzl, 5 Babbel, 4 Zivkovic - 7 Meißner, 20 Soldo, 16 Heldt - 10 A. Hleb - 22 Kuranyi, 19 Szabics

Reserves: 23 Heinen (Gk), 31 Benaglio (Gk), 6 Fernando Meira, 8 Vranjes, 12 H. Gerber, 13 Tiffert, 17 Delpierre, 26 Caligiuri, 33 Gomez

Source: HSV.de


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