Cologne – A 3-0 defeat at home to 1. FC Köln early last season did seemingly irreparable damage to VfB Stuttgart's morale, and that is something the Swabians will be keen to avoid this year as they bid to start off on a better foot this Saturday (kick-off 15:30 CET / 13:30 GMT).
The arrival of new coach Alexander Zorniger and some impressive results in pre-season have boosted morale, but Köln will be out to prove that lightning can indeed strike twice in the same place.
- The home team has not won a single one of the last 17 match-ups between Stuttgart and Köln - nine away wins, eight draws - a Bundesliga record. The Billy Goats recorded the last home win in this fixture back on 29 October 2000. Köln, however, haven’t won away since beating Hamburger SV 2-0 on 31 January 2015. Stuttgart have only won 31 per cent of games against Köln. Only against FC Bayern München and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have they posted a lower win quota. Köln have won more games in Stuttgart than away to any other club (13), even winning five of their last six on Stuttgart soil. Indeed, they’ve recorded more wins against Stuttgart home and away than any other opponent (34). Stuttgart haven’t won a single one of their last ten home games against Köln (six defeats, four draws). Never before have VfB had to wait so long to record a win against one club. In fact, it’s the longest winless head-to-head of any side in the Bundesliga. Since the turn of the century, VfB have yet to take a 1-0 lead in home games against Köln and have failed to score in six. Köln have already kept 11 clean sheets in Stuttgart. Christian Gentner has scored more Bundesliga goals against Köln than against any other Bundesliga club (four).