By 90Min
November 17, 2017

VfB Stuttgart host a Borussia Dortmund team who are desperate for points on Friday. Peter Bosz's side are without a win in four consecutive Bundesliga matches and they'll be facing a side who are unbeaten in the league at home since December 2016.

The gap between these two sides will be cut to just four points if the Swabians can cause an upset at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. However, Dortmund will move up to second place in the league with a win and start putting pressure on Bayern Munich.

Here's everything you need to know about the opening game on matchday 12 in Germany:

Classic Encounter
Dennis Grombkowski/GettyImages
In March 2012, these two sides produced one of the most thrilling Bundesliga games in recent memory.

Dortmund were coming into this one off the back of a 6-1 victory away to FC Köln and they were 1-0 up at half-time thanks to a clever finish from Shinji Kagawa.

The reigning Bundesliga champions then doubled their advantage through Jakub Błaszczykowski and the contest looked over. However, a calm finish from Vedad Ibišević and a brace from Julian Schieber turned the game on its head and Stuttgart were leading at the Westfalenstadion.

Mats Hummels brought the game back to level terms with a powerful striker from outside the area before Ivan Perišić fired home what looked to be the winner for Borussia Dortmund, hitting the ball first time into the top corner from a Marcel Schmelzer set piece.

However, second-half substitute Christian Gentner stole a point for the visitors with a wonderful left-footed strike. Dortmund would go on to secure back to back Bundesliga titles that season, with Stuttgart finishing the season in sixth.

Key Battle

Santiago Ascacibar vs Julian Weigl
Adam Pretty/GettyImages
The game on Friday could be a won or lost, depending on who you're backing, in the centre of midfield. Both Stuttgart and Dortmund rely heavily on using their midfield to send the ball out wide and stretch the opposition defence. 

Stuttgart's Santiago Ascacibar will be the man tasked with stopping Dortmund attacks for the hosts, the Argentine U20 international returning to the squad after receiving a one-match ban through an accumulation of yellow cards.

The 20-year-old has been one of the Swabians' best players this season following a €6m move from Estudiantes. A similar type of player to a young Javier Mascherano, Ascacibar is vital to bringing balance the Stuttgart midfield.

For Dortmund, seeing Julian Weigl return to the first team has been a massive boost. The 22-year-old dislocated his ankle towards the end of last season and was forced to miss the DFB-Pokal final at the end of May.

Team News
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Although Stuttgart are being boosted by the return of Ascacibar, as well as Christian Gentner and Holger Badstuber, a number of first-team players are still missing. 

Marcin Kaminski (ligament) is the only defender out of the squad. However, Matthias Zimmermann (cruciate ligament), Dzenis Burnic (suspension), and Carlos Mané (knee) are missing from the midfield, with Anastasios Donis the only striker missing for Friday's match.

For Dortmund, there are no new injury setbacks. Lukasz Piszczek (knee), Erik Durm (hip), Sebastian Rode and Marco Reus (ligament) are still missing, while star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out of the squad for disciplinary reasons, leaving Alexander Isak or Max Philipp with an opportunity to impress through the middle.

Potential VfB Stuttgart Starting Lineup: Zieler, Beck, Baumgartl, Pavard, Badstuber, Insua, Ascacibar, Gentner, Akolo, Asano, Ginczek.

Potential Borussia Dortmund Lineup: Bürki, Toljan, Bartra, Sokratis, Schmelzer, Weigl, Götze, Castro, Yarmolenko, Pulisic, Philipp.



The Swabians' record at the Mercedes-Benz Arena is impressive and since Hannes Wolf, who enjoyed great success in charge of Dortmund's youth teams, was appointed manager, Stuttgart have what it takes to go toe to toe with the best teams in the Bundesliga.

Although the hosts will undoubtedly prove to be tough opponents for Borussia Dortmund, Peter Bosz's side should still come away with all three points.

Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

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