Following on from their loss against FC Bayern München last Friday, Hamburger SV are intent on seizing the next opportunity to move further clear of the drop zone when they take on an improving VfB Stuttgart outfit on Saturday evening.
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HSV haven’t picked up three points since their 3-1 win over northern rivals SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 14 and striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga was quick to stress that his side’s upcoming fixtures are “games in which we can pick up points”.
‘Have to do more with the ball’
However, with Stuttgart securing back-to-back wins either side of Christmas, the Red Shorts' captain Johan Djourou is aware that Saturday’s showdown will be anything but straightforward. “Stuttgart will be a completely different game compared to the one against Bayern,” explained the Swiss centre-back. “On Friday we were very solid defensively, were well organised, but there [in Stuttgart] we’re going to have to do more with the ball.”
Hamburg have picked up impressive wins over Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund this season, but have dropped too many points against the sides in and around them the bottom half of the table. Lewis Holtby, HSV’s most improved player this season, maintains that his side “can take a lot from the Bayern game”, but also admitted they now need “to take something that counts” in Stuttgart.
The Bundesliga ever-presents currently sit just four points above the relegation play-off spot, a position they've occupied at the conclusion of the previous two campaigns. And while they can take heart from their 3-2 win over Stuttgart earlier this season, only three points on Saturday will help them avoid suffering the same fate again this season.