Munich - After cruising into round two of the DFB Cup last weekend, VfB Stuttgart are confident of reaching the UEFA Europa League group stages as they prepare for Wednesday evening's play-off first leg against Russian outfit Dinamo Moskva (kick-off 18:15 CET).

The Swabians' first European outing in two seasons provides their first real test prior to the big Bundesliga kick-off this coming weekend, but after a "very good pre-season" in the eyes of head coach Bruno Labbadia, the five-time German champions are looking forward to enjoying their reward for a late surge of form last term.

"Need to be ice-cold"


Stuttgart finished sixth in the Bundesliga table, one place behind Bayer 04 Leverkusen - who qualified directly for the Europa League group stages - and one ahead of Hannover 96, who are also involved in this week's play-off round after coming through the third qualifying round.

The Swabians will be hoping to equal or better the 96ers' quarter-final charge in the competition last term, though Labbadia knows his team will "have to give 100 per cent from the start", if they are to overcome the Muscovites.

Dinamo lacking spark


Wednesday's hosts will draw further optimism from Dinamo's dreadful start to their domestic campaign. Already five games in, they have shown no sign of finding their rhythm and are currently bottom of the Russian Premier League having failed to pick up a single point, with just one goal for and ten against.

Yet Labbadia, who is missing influential midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic through suspension, has warned his charges against complacency: "They have a lot of quality and in attack especially they have players who can decide a game on their own." One such dangerman is former Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi, who Labbadia knows all too well from his time in the Bundesliga between 2001 and 2009, when he netted 111 league goals for both Schalke and Stuttgart. "Kevin is tireless up front and presents a huge threat."


Possible line-ups:

Stuttgart: Ulreich - Hoogland, Tasci, Niedermeier, Boka - Kvist, Gentner - Harnik, Hajnal, Okazaki - Ibisevic

Dinamo: Shunin - Wilkshire, Fernandez, Rykov, Lomic - Semshov, Yusupov - Kokorin, Misimovic, Dzsudzsak - Kuranyi


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