At his Thursday pre-match presser, VfB Stuttgart caretaker trainer Michael Wimmer provided updates on two of his squad’s defenders.
|Photo: Jeollo, Vfb-exklusiv.de, CC BY-SA 3.0|
The novel 4-4-2 through which VfB Stuttgart found so much joy on the pitch and so much critical acclaim last weekend will be in need of some personnel tinkering this Friday against Gladbach. VfB interim trainer Michael Wimmer provided updates on some of his defenders at his Thursday presser.
The recently signed Dan-Axel Zagadou, who was guilty of an early defensive lapse last weekend against Augsburg, has caught the seasonal flu and will be unavailable for tomorrow. Talismanic Greek center halve Konstantinos Mavropanos, on the other hand, should be fit to enough to start after sitting out last week with muscular problems.
Even before Zagadou’s absence was confirmed, the question as to where Mavropanos could fit into the new back-four was unclear. The Greek international, buccaneering forward player that he is, might have been a good choice to take over for Waldemar Anton at right back. Many saw this as the ideal solution.
Mavropanos could have also replaced Hiroki Ito in central defense, even though the newly called up Japanese international had played a great game against Augsburg himself. It now looks likely that both Mavropanos and Ito will start. Anton, who did cramp up a bit after scoring the dramatic late-winning goal against the FCA, should be available and might once again be called upon on the right.
Wimmer called Mavropanos’ presence “extremely important to the team in terms of character”. The interim trainer also seemed to suggest that he would keep his new tactical system in place, calling upon his team to “keep executing our idea.”