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Bundesliga Preview: Stuttgart v Bayern Munich
With Borussia Dortmund hot on the Bavarians' tails, Jupp Heynckes will be looking to pick up all three points in his side's first trip to the Mercedes-Benz Arena this season
By Stephen Crawford
Boka, Tasci, Maza, Molinaro
Harnik, Hajnal, Okazaki
Boateng, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Lahm
Robben, T. Muller, Ribery
As has been the case for the past few months, Die Schwaben will yet again be without skipper Matthieu Delpierre, as the Frenchman continues to recover from a nasty knee injury.
Fellow defenders Khalid Boularouz and Stefano Celozzi will join Delpierre on the sidelines with knocks of their own, alongside Johan Audel and goalkeeper Marc Ziegler.
Four of Bayern's players have doubts over their involvement in Sunday's game due to flu-like symptoms, including Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben. However, it is said that the first three are recovering well, meaning that the Dutchman is the biggest question mark.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is recovering well from a broken collarbone sustained at the start of November, but is not quite ready to rejoin the first team yet. The same can be said for Breno, who has yet to be given the all-clear by therapists following arson charges.
||DID YOU KNOW|
- Bayern Munich's star striker Mario Gomez transferred to the Allianz Arena from Stuttgart for a Bundesliga record fee of approximately €30-35 million.
- The Bavarians' last two visits to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, both last season, were veritable goalfests at 6-3 and 5-3, although Bayern were victorious on both counts.
- Stuttgart's main goalscorer, Martin Harnik, has less than half of Mario Gomez's tally (13) for the league season with six so far. So large is the gulf in goalscoring prowess between the teams this campaign that even eight-goal left-winger Franck Ribery beats the Austrian.
- Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia is the only player ever to have scored more than 100 goals in both the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, some of which were scored when he was spearheading the attack for Bayern Munich between 1991-94.
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Top 3 Predictions
VfB Stuttgart 0-3 FC Bayern München
- 19.57 %
VfB Stuttgart 1-3 FC Bayern München
- 19.14 %
VfB Stuttgart 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 15.11 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Jan 27, 2013||VfB Stuttgart 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Sep 2, 2012||FC Bayern München 6 - VfB Stuttgart 1|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Apr 28, 2012||FC Bayern München 2 - VfB Stuttgart 0|
|Germany - DFB-Pokal (GERC)||Feb 8, 2012||VfB Stuttgart 0 - FC Bayern München 2|
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Dec 11, 2011||VfB Stuttgart 1 - FC Bayern München 2|
|May 18, 2013||VfB Stuttgart 2 - Mainz 2||GER1|
|May 11, 2013||Schalke 04 1 - VfB Stuttgart 2||GER1|
|May 4, 2013||VfB Stuttgart 0 - Greuther Fürth 2||GER1|
|Apr 27, 2013||FC Augsburg 3 - VfB Stuttgart 0||GER1|
|Apr 21, 2013||VfB Stuttgart 2 - SC Freiburg 1||GER1|
|Returns:||VfB Stuttgart £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Draw £210.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Bayern £15.30||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|2||Francisco Javier Rodríguez||Defender|
|4||William Kvist Jörgensen||Midfielder|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
|30||Luiz Gustavo Dias||Midfielder|
Stuttgart have been struggling to keep a clean sheet in recent weeks and, although achieving such a feat against Bayern is unlikely, a good, solid defensive performance from Tasci and the other back three would go a long way to boosting Die Schwaben's morale.
Untouched by the flu symptoms that half his team-mates have been getting, the Frenchman has been in excellent form lately. With eight goals and the same amount of assists already this season from the left, Ribery is always a player to keep an eye on.
Stuttgart can make some decent progress in a bid for a European berth next term with a win over the Bavarians, so expect them to put up a fight. However, Bayern will hope to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in midweek, and will want to use this trip as a springboard to get back on track. Die Roten's class should shine through to win them this one.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed