New Nürnberg head coach Gertjan Verbeek has overseen just two training sessions ahead of the Matchday 10 opener with VfB Stuttgart
New Nürnberg head coach Gertjan Verbeek has overseen just two training sessions ahead of the Matchday 10 opener with VfB Stuttgart

Acid test for Nürnberg's Verbeek in Stuttgart

Stuttgart - New 1. FC Nürnberg head coach Gertjan Verbeek will look to follow Thomas Schneider’s example when the Franconians travel to the Mercedes-Benz Arena to face VfB Stuttgart on Friday night (kick-off 20:30 CEST).

Stuttgart focus

Verbeek’s remit upon his appointment at the start of the week was to reverse the fortunes of one of Germany’s most historic clubs, languishing in 16th place and without a win all season. Schneider was handed a similar assignment after Matchday 3, one which he has taken to with aplomb, overseeing Stuttgart’s unbeaten rise to eighth in the table.

Schneider is now aiming to build on his successful managerial start by beating struggling Nürnberg in Matchday 10’s opener, but knows it won’t be easy. “It’s not an ideal situation for us,” said the 40-year-old, “Nürnberg will be especially motivated ahead of this game [...] We haven’t really used our video analysis, instead we’ve just been focusing on own performance”.

Such a focus is hardly surprising, after a humdinger of a 3-3 draw with Hamburger SV on Matchday 9 prevented Stuttgart rising as high as sixth place. Accordingly, Schneider believes a more measured approach will be required against Friday's visitors. “We want to move the ball quickly and play as directly as possible, but we’ll have to be patient,” he explained.

'More about the philosophy'

Perseverance is a dogma being preached by Schneider’s counterpart on Friday, Verbeek. The Dutchman’s immediate task is to “lead the club away from the relegation zone”, but in the long-term, “it’s more about the philosophy”.

Verbeek has nevertheless been impressed with the players at his disposal, but is under no illusion as to the size of the task that awaits in Swabia. “It’s difficult to know how we’re going to beat Stuttgart, they’re a good team, fast-paced, with an excellent midfield behind Vedad Ibisevic and Alexandru Maxim, but we want to repeat our last half-hour against Eintracht Frankfurt,” he affirmed. “This group is certainly talented enough to pick up points as quickly as possible.”

Leitner back, Rüdiger suspended

Josip Drmic scored the 85th-minute equaliser in last weekend's 1-1 draw and Verbeek confirmed the Swiss striker “will start”. He has also been boosted ahead of his managerial bow by the return of summer acquisition Daniel Ginczek and midfielder Markus Feulner.

Ginczek and Drmic will aim to add to Nürnberg’s ten goals this season against a defence missing suspended 20-year-old Antonio Rüdiger following his dismissal against Hamburg. That headache is compounded by the “tight decision” regarding the fitness of full-back Gotoku Sakai. Stuttgart do, however, welcome back Moritz Leitner and long-term absentee Georg Niedermeier, both of whom “have trained well”.

Possible line-ups:

VfB Stuttgart: Ulreich - G. Sakai, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Boka - Kvist, Gentner - Harnik, Traoré - Maxim - Ibisevic

1. FC Nürnberg: R. Schäfer - Chandler, Nilsson, Pogatetz, Pinola - Stark, Hasebe - Mak, Kiyotake, Drmic - Ginczek

Refresh your memory with all the Matchday 9 action, courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel.