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Leipzig coach Rose: Duel with Stuttgart will be a matter of the head

Leipzig coach Marco Rose enters a stadium / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa
Leipzig coach Marco Rose enters a stadium / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa

VfB Stuttgart and RB Leipzig have lost their first two games of the year. The two sides will go head-to-head on Saturday - and heads will play a major role.

In the clash between top teams VfB Stuttgart and RB Leipzig, who have no points so far in 2024, Marco Rose also sees a mental challenge. "Both teams have lost twice. Let's see who gets their heads around it the most," said the RB coach on Friday.

If Leipzig win in Stuttgart on Saturday (3.30pm/Sky), they will be third again regardless of the other results. It would calm the situation for the Saxons immensely. Leipzig have only lost three games in a row in the Bundesliga once before, in November/December 2021, which cost coach Jesse Marsch his job.

There are still no discussions about Rose at Cottaweg. But the 47-year-old knows that an unsuccessful spell won't help him either. "This is a club that is not used to losing. When we lose, mechanisms kick in that we all know," said Rose. At the same time, he appealed to Leipzig's fans, who are used to success: "We have to understand in Leipzig that things can't always go upwards, that there is also a certain ability to suffer."

The biggest issue during the week was the goals conceded from set-pieces. In the 2:3 against Leverkusen, two goals were scored from corner kicks. The cup winners are the second-worst team in the league with 38% of their goals conceded from set-pieces. Only FC Augsburg concede more goals.

"You shouldn't make it too big a deal, but it should definitely be on your radar," said Rose. "We have an issue with it right now and have highlighted it, talked about it and trained about it. We're trying to do better without losing our nerve when we get a calm ball."

Also on the plane to Stuttgart is Willi Orban. The captain, who has had a knee injury for a long time, will be part of the squad for the first time since the beginning of September. "We're not taking Willi with us so that he can give a speech before the game," said Rose. However, his playing time is likely to be limited to just a few minutes.

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