Stuttgart are back in the Bundesliga once again for 2020-21 after a one-year absence, securing automatic promotion after finishing second behind champions Arminia Bielefeld.
Coach Pellegrino Matarazzo will now be hoping he can keep Stuttgart, one of Germany’s most successful clubs, in the top flight and usher in a new era of success for the five-time German champions.
Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
Starting with the 2020-21 season, anyone in the US can watch every Stuttgart game live on ESPN+:
ESPN+ will have live coverage of every Bundesliga match in 20-21, as well as DFL Supercup, Bundesliga 2, Serie A, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, MLS and other live sports. It also includes every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $5.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $12.99 per month, which works out to about 31 percent savings:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch every Stuttgart match live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Stuttgart 2020-21 Preview
Stuttgart spent virtually the entire season in the top three on their way to promotion last season despite suffering 10 defeats in their 34 games. They finished 10 points behind Arminia Bielefeld but will fancy their chances of staying up.
Argentine attacker Nicolas Gonzalez could prove key to their hopes of remaining in the German top flight. The 22-year-old netted 14 times last season and even made history with a goal 12 seconds after arriving as a substitute at half-time against Hannover.
Perhaps unsurprisingly there has been interest in the youngster this summer from clubs across Europe. Premier League new-boys Leeds United were keen but their proposal “never turned out to be interesting for Nico or for us,” according to sporting director Sven Mislintat.
The chief also told Kicker that his club would be unable to resist a big offer for Gonzalez in the current transfer window but is not expecting it to happen.
“Let’s be honest: If someone comes on October 1st and puts a fabulous sum of €30 million or more on the table for Nico or another player, who would refuse something like that? We certainly wouldn’t. But I don’t see it coming either.”
Gonzalez will miss the start of the season after suffering a muscular tear in his hip in a pre-season friendly against Racing Strasbourg. Stuttgart have estimated he will be out for up to six weeks.
Captain Marc-Oliver, midfielder Gonzalo Castro, and forward Daniel Didavi are also key players for Stuttgart and have bags of experience that will be needed as they come up against the top teams in Germany once again. Indeed Castro has made 383 appearances in the Bundesliga during spells with Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund.
However, Stuttgart will have to make do without veterans Mario Gomez and Holger Badstuber for the new campaign. Gomez announced his retirement after helping his boyhood club back into the big time, while Badstuber has been demoted to Stuttgart’s second team.
Transfer Ins and Outs
Stuttgart have made moves in the transfer window to boost their squad, particularly in defence, in a bid to preserve their top-flight status. Goalkeeper Gregor Kobel has arrived from Hoffenheim, while defender Waldemar Anton has been signed from Hannover.
— VfB Stuttgart_int (@VfB_int) July 28, 2020
Center-back Konstantinos Mavropanos also joined the club on a season-long loan from Premier League side Arsenal, right-back Pascal Stenzel comes in from Freiburg, and Stuttgart have also landed Japanese defensive midfielder Wataru Endo.
Stuttgart fans have also been doing their best to try and land Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi after the Argentine told the Catalan giants he wanted to leave in August.
Supporter Tim Artmann started a GoFundMe account to try and raise €900m in a bid to land Messi but acknowledged he was probably fighting a losing battle.
“Messi is one of the best players in the world and I don’t see there’s any chance he comes to our club. Even if we reach our target. If Messi chooses another club, the money raised will be donated elsewhere.”
Artmann has so far raised a little over €7000 and has confirmed that if the team does not manage to achieve its aim then all the money will go to Viva con Agua, an organization committed to bringing clean drinking water to all parts of the world.
Manager: Pellegrino Matarazzo
American-born Matarazzo had a modest career as a player but never managed to play in the Bundesliga. He has worked in the German top-flight as assistant to Julian Nagelsmann before taking the Stuttgart job in January, his first senior coaching role.
The Pellegrino Matarazzo effect? 🇺🇸😅 pic.twitter.com/BqholULdZD
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) September 11, 2020
Matarazzo saw his team warm-up for their Bundesliga opener with a hard-fought DFB-Pokal win over Hansa. The match was played in front of approximately 7,500 fans, and the Stuttgart manager told the club’s website he was happy with what he saw.
“We played well in the first half. Rostock were very well organised and defended solidly, not shying away from the one-on-ones. You need to find a way through against an opponent like that, but we still managed to carve out some good chances and then make it 1-0 just before half-time.
“In the second half, we didn’t manage to get the second goal to put us clear and our play became a little bit hectic, but at the end of the day I’m pleased with the result. We’re through to the next round and that’s what counts in the cup. And it was really nice to play a match in front of fans again.”
A stiffer test follows on Saturday with Stuttgart’s first game against Freiburg. Christian Streich’s side finished in an impressive eighth-place last season but have not beaten Stuttgart in their last 10 Bundesliga meetings.
Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. has affiliate relationships with various streaming content providers and may receive a commission if you sign up for a service via a link on this page.