Stuttgart vs St Pauli Preview
Stuttgart coach Jens Keller says his side must now win in the Bundesliga after claiming a third win in Europe on Thursday.A 1-0 win over Getafe put the Swabians just one point away from qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League, yet they have picked up more points in three group games than they have in eight Bundesliga matches this term.
That, according to Keller, needs to be rectified fast, starting with Sunday's visit of St Pauli.
"This is an incredibly important game for us," he said.
"We must absolutely win this game at home. Of course we feel a lot of pressure given our league position, but we are professionals and have got to be able to deal with that."
The last time Stuttgart won a home game in Europe, they followed it up with their one and only Bundesliga triumph so far - a 7-0 home victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.
However, Keller would be happy with a simple 1-0, such is the strength he has seen in tomorrow's opponents.
"St Pauli thrive on a solid team performance," he said. "They don't have any stars, but they form a solid unit and have a very good team spirit.
"St Pauli are a good and strong opponent who have picked up some good results, above all away from home, where they have earned more points than they have at home."
Thursday's game took a lot out of Stuttgart's players and Keller may have to give some of his players a rest.
Christian Gentner, Khalid Boulahrouz, Stefano Celozzi and captain Cacau all have knocks, but Keller is hopeful that all four will be able to grit their teeth and play.
Serdar Tasci should return from an ankle injury to give Keller another option.
St Pauli coach Holger Stanislawski has no such injury problems to contend with and he can name his strongest team tomorrow.
"We are feeling good," he announced. "We will take a strong 18-man squad to Stuttgart."