The Reds are favored by the soccer odds at home but it won't be easy, which is why they're still at a plus price of +110. Mainz can be backed at +275 or so, while a draw seems to be revolving around the +250 mark.
The winter break couldn't really have come at a better time for the Reds. They had lost three of four matches before the month off.
As of now, Stuttgart is holding the tenth spot in the Bundesliga, having accounted for 19 points out of a possible 48.
It should be noted that the Reds are only five points clear of the relegation zone, so it's not like they can afford to let their foot off the gas whatsoever.
How has Stuttgart fared at home? Heading into the weekend they've been good for two wins, three draws and two losses inside Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion during league play, with a sturdy defense (10 goals allowed) being their lifeline.
Up further on the pitch, Vedad Ibisevic has been a great goal-scoring influence, scoring a team-best nine goals for the Reds so far. Martin Harnik, Alexandru Maxim and Timo Werner have all scored four times this season, with Maxim chipping in with six assists. We really like what the Romanian attacking midfielder has been doing and it's no wonder he's been linked with a move to Liverpool recently.
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The O-Fives had some good results to stew about during their month-long layoff. They went into the break with a three-match unbeaten run.
Consecutive draws against Nurnberg (1-1) and Borussia Monchengladbach (0-0) weren't too shabby, but a 3-2 away win over Hamburg SV was icing on the cake on December 21st.
All three of the O-Fives' goals were scored in the second half. Shinji Okazaki scored a brace, with the second (and winning goal) coming in extra time. Nicolai Muller also got his name on the score-sheet for the eighth time in the campaign so far.
Okazaki and Muller have been at the heart of all that's been good (attacking-wise) for Mainz. Together, they've scored 16 league goals, which accounts for 64 percent of the team's goals. Stuttgart will be well aware of the threat these two influential figures are likely to pose.
Away from home, the O-Fives have had a mixed bag of results. They've won three times, but have also lost on four occasions, with one draw sprinkled in there. To date, they've scored 13 times while surrendering 19.
Five points separate these sides in the standings, with Mainz currently holding the edge.
Nonetheless, Stuttgart still has a match-in-hand and also has the luxury of being at home here. That brings with it a clear advantage in a Bundesliga that's had tons of parity this term.
That doesn't mean we're locked in to taking the Reds as one of our soccer picks though. We're on the lookout for a tight affair in this one, so the draw is calling out to us. If you're caught between a rock and a hard place in deciphering where the best value is, consider riding along with us.
Pick: VfB Stuttgart 1 Mainz 1