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Sports

Stuttgart

Jens Lehmann dives for a save

Stuttgart hopes there'll be no goals on Lehmann's shift

In 2006-07, Stuttgart won the league title with a group of young, relative unknowns who sacrificed themselves for the good of the team. In 2008-09 they'll try to get back to that level with older players, many of whom have been accused of egotism in the past.

Their most prominent signing has been former German national keeper Jens Lehmann -- a justifiable move, despite Lehmann's advancing age, since the goal was Stuttgart's most glaring problem zone last season.

Slightly more dubious is the acquisition of midfielder Jan Simak, whose problems with alcoholism and depression nearly ended a promising career. They'll also have to decide what to do with striker Danijel Ljuboja, who has alienated teammates and coaches everywhere he has gone in the Bundesliga.

This is a crossroads year for Stuttgart. If they can get back into the top three, the club has a bright future. If they falter again, expect their younger talents -- above all striker Mario Gomez -- to start to consider moving elsewhere.

Major arrivals: Martin Lanig, Jan Simak, Jens Lehmann, Khalid Boulahrouz

Major departures: Andreas Beck, Antonio da Silva, Alexander Farnerud, Raphael Schaefer, Silvio Meissner