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Oct 31, 2021 at 2.30pm UK
Oxford (30'), Gouweleeuw (53'), Niederlechner (72'), Finnbogason (81')
Gouweleeuw (21'), Caligiuri (32'), Gruezo (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Fuhrich (7')
Didavi (39'), Coulibaly (59'), Al Ghaddioui (77'), Forster (90+2')

Preview: Augsburg vs. Stuttgart - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Augsburg vs. Stuttgart - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between Augsburg and Stuttgart, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Early-season strugglers Augsburg and Stuttgart will be in search of a rare three points when they go head to head with each other at the WWK Arena on Sunday.

The pair have managed just three wins between them in their opening nine fixtures of the 2021-22 Bundesliga campaign so far, and find themselves at the wrong end of the table as a result.

Match preview

Survival is always the focus for Augsburg ahead of new league campaigns, and after narrowly avoiding relegation to the second tier in recent years, this season is perhaps proving to be the most difficult task yet.

Just a single win picked up from their nine league matches has resulted in Fuggerstadter occupying the relegation playoff spot in 16th place heading into the weekend, with just the winless duo of Arminia Bielefeld and Greuther Furth keeping them out of the automatic relegation places.

A lack of goals has proved to be the primary reason for their struggles so far, with the disappointing return of five giving Augsburg the unwanted tag of joint-lowest scorers in the division along with Bielefeld.

On-loan Brighton & Hove Albion forward Andi Zeqiri has chipped in with a couple of goals since arriving for his temporary stay in the summer, but there has been very little from elsewhere during the injury absences of regular striker duo Florian Niederlechner and Alfred Finnbogason.

Manager Markus Weinzierl will be looking for some goals, as well as a reaction from his side when they host Stuttgart on Sunday, after an extremely disappointing performance last Friday at Mainz 05.

His side found themselves 3-0 down inside the opening 26 minutes, before eventually succumbing to a 4-1 defeat in a game that they were outplayed throughout.

Despite naming a strong 11 in midweek, Augsburg were then knocked out of the DFB-Pokal by fellow Bundesliga strugglers VfL Bochum on penalties, with Reece Oxford and Ruben Vargas netting during a 2-2 draw in regular time.

Meanwhile, after a successful return to the Bundesliga saw Stuttgart finish in an impressive ninth place last season, the 2021-22 campaign has not started so well for Pellegrino Matarazzo's side.

Although the American has overseen his team lose just one of their last six Bundesliga outings, they have also won just a single match during this same period, which leaves Stuttgart in a disappointing position of 13th at the time of writing, just four points above their opponents on Sunday.

In fact, that 3-1 triumph over Hoffenheim at the beginning of October was and currently is, just their second league win of the season so far.

A mounting injury list, as well as a couple of high-profile departures in the summer have not been kind to Matarazzo, but he will be looking for improvement in the coming weeks when they face the likes of Bielefeld, Mainz and Hertha Berlin, following their trip to Augsburg on Sunday.

Those few fixtures appear winnable on paper for a side of Stuttgart's quality, but performance levels will need to be increased from the lows of Wednesday evening, when Die Roten were comprehensively knocked out of the DFB-Pokal on home soil against FC Koln.

Despite naming a strong lineup, Stuttgart never got going and rarely troubled their opponents in the final third, which saw them exit the cup competition at just the second round via a 2-0 defeat.

Augsburg Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Augsburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D

Stuttgart form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L

Team News

With Finnbogason nearing a return to full fitness after a couple of substitute appearances in recent weeks, his strike partner Niederlechner is closing in on a return from injury as well.

However, Augsburg's German forward remains a doubt for this one, with Zeqiri and Vargas likely to lead the line instead.

Niklas Dorsch and Fredrik Jensen have missed the last few weeks due to bouts of illness, and are also listed as doubtful along with Iago, who has a minor hand injury.

Felix Uduokhai and Noah Sarenren Bazee are the only confirmed absentees for the hosts, who miss out due to hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

As for the visitors, their star striker Sasa Kalajdzic remains unavailable due to the shoulder injury that has kept him sidelined for the whole of the campaign so far.

Their injury list does not appear to be shortening any time soon, with Enzo Millot, Mohamed Sankoh and Silas Katompa Mvumpa all being ruled out too.

Atakan Karazor serves a one-match suspension following his red card last weekend against Union Berlin, whilst Omar Marmoush, Florian Muller, Roberto Massimo and Momo Cisse remain doubtful.

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Gumny, Gouweleeuw, Oxford; Hahn, Maier, Gruezo, Pedersen; Caligiuri; Zeqiri, Vargas

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Bredlow; Mavropanos, Anton, Kempf; Mangala; Coulibaly, Didavi, Endo, Sosa; Fuhrich, Al Ghaddioui

We say: Augsburg 1-1 Stuttgart

Confidence is likely to remain low in both camps heading into this one on Sunday, which could result in a tight and nervy affair being played out.

As a result, we see a low-scoring draw being a likely outcome between two sides who have struggled to secure all three points so far this season.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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