Markus Babbel is seeking a solution to VfB Stuttgart's disappointing form in front of goal when the German side visit runaway Group G leaders Sevilla FC having found the net just twice in their last six matches.
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Markus Babbel is seeking an immediate improvement on VfB Stuttgart's form in front of goal when they visit UEFA Champions League Group G leaders Sevilla FC. The Bundesliga outfit − third in the section − have registered just twice in their previous six matches in all competitions, the last of which came in the Matchday 3 defeat by the Liga highfliers, prompting Babbel to urge the rest of his squad to make a contribution while the forwards are struggling.
Manuel Jiménez, Sevilla coach
The faster we achieve our goal of finishing first in the group the better it is. Everybody thinks finishing first is better but it depends on the teams that finish in second position. Really it is a question of luck. We are not sure yet if Kanouté is 100 per cent so we don't know if he will play. Palop can but I have to check if he is 100 per cent. Javi Varas is doing very well [in his place] and is an excellent goalkeeper. I'm not thinking about the match against Villarreal next Saturday, just about Stuttgart. I will put out my best team. I have my starting XI in mind, but I don't know if those eleven players can play because of injuries.
Markus Babbel, Stuttgart coach
We deserved to win our last Bundesliga match against Bayern but we didn't due to lapses in concentration. We know that Sevilla are a good team and dangerous from free-kicks and corners, so we have to concentrate. There is less pressure on Sevilla than on us but there are times that when you play without pressure you play better. They will want to be at their best and we can't wait for a present from them. Sevilla and Barcelona play the best football in Spain so if Sevilla can maintain this level then they have a realistic chance of achieving great things in the competition. We defended pretty well against Bayern but we didn't create scoring chances so we have to improve upon this. Goals shouldn't always be scored by forwards – midfielders and defenders have to score too.
31/10/09 Xerez CD 0-2 Sevilla
(Negredo 42, Luis Fabiano 89)
• The Andalusian club have won ten of their last 12 matches in all competitions, losing once, and are unbeaten at home since losing 4-2 to Real Madrid CF on 26 April.
• Luis Fabiano has scored ten goals in 13 games this term for club and country, but only three have come in the Liga.
31/10/09 Stuttgart 0-0 FC Bayern München
• Stuttgart are seven games without a win in all competitions, losing five in a row prior to the Bayern draw.
• Babbel's side have not scored in their last three matches and are without a goal in the 286 minutes since Élson's consolation against Sevilla.
Out: Tom De Mul (adductor), Federico Fazio (ankle), Lautaro Acosta (ankle), Adriano (thigh tear)
Doubtful: Frédéric Kanouté (calf/hypoglycemia), Andrés Palop (calf)
Misses next match if booked: Fernando Navarro
• Acosta returned to full training on 14 October but has suffered a relapse and will undergo further tests this week.
Out: Martin Lanig (cruciate ligament), Cacau (hip), Sami Khedira (foot), Ricardo Osorio (torn thigh muscle), Christian Träsch (groin strain), Ciprian Marica (groin)
Doubtful: Georg Niedermeier (foot)
Misses next match if booked: none
• Osorio will be out for around three weeks, while the man who filled in for him at right-back against Bayern, Träsch, will miss the trip to Sevilla after he too failed to finish the game.
• Sevilla were 3-1 winners at Stuttgart on Matchday 3 and are already five points clear in the Group G having also beaten FC Unirea Urziceni (2-0) and Rangers FC (4-1). Despite that setback, Stuttgart are still third after 1-1 draws against Rangers and Unirea in their first two games.
• Sevilla have won all their six previous home games in the UEFA Champions League. During their successive UEFA Cup triumphs in 2006 and 2007, the Spanish side lost just one of their 14 home games, winning eleven.
• The teams played 12 months ago in Spain during the UEFA Cup group stage, Sevilla winning 2-0. It was their first competitive meeting.
• In five home games against German visitors, Sevilla have won four and are still to concede a goal. Their only blip came in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup when they drew 0-0 with 1. FSV Mainz 05.
Did you know?
Stuttgart have made five visits to Spain and are yet to win, losing on four occasions.
For more background on the match in the official press kit, click here.