Stuttgart-Bayern Munich Preview: Bavarians look to clock up win number 15
Jupp Heynckes' side were not at their brilliant best in beating Greuther Furth in their last outing, but the addition of Arjen Robben to the starting XI could be a timely boost
By Alec Fenn
Rudiger, Tasci, Niedermeier, Molinaro
Harnik, Gentner, Hajnal, Traore
Lahm, Dante, Van Buyten, Alaba
Robben, Kroos, Ribery
Given the media circus that has surrounded Bayern Munich over the last two weeks, Jupp Heynckes and his band of men will probably let out a sigh of relief as they go on their travels on Sunday.
The Bavarians have been under the glare of the world's press following the appointment of Pep Guardiola and despite beating Greuther Furth 2-0 last week, the performance was surprisingly workmanlike from the well-oiled machine that shone prior to the winter break.
That said, they still enjoy a nine-point lead over joint-second-placed Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund and will be confident of racking up a 15th league win of the season over a VfB side who reside in 10th spot.
Daniel Van Buyten is likely to get the nod ahead of Jerome Boateng at centre-back, while Javi Martinez will partner Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield and Arjen Robben could return in place of Thomas Muller.
Stuttgart are without Cacau and Christoph Hemlein through injury, with new loan signing Federico Macheda likely to start from the bench.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Stuttgart have lost their last two Bundesliga games in disappointing fashion. Mainz beat them 3-1 before the winter break, and Wolfsburg 2-0 after the league recommenced.
- VfB boss Bruno Labbadia played for Bayern between 1991 and 1994, winning the Bundesliga with the club in his final season in Bavaria.
- Stuttgart lost the 1986 DFB-Pokal final to Bayern Munich 5-2.
- Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm spent time on loan at Stuttgart during the early part of his career.
- Additionally, Mario Gomez began his career at the Mercedes Benz Arena before moving to Bavaria.
- Bayern Munich beat Stuttgart 6-1 at home earlier in the season, with Thomas Muller scoring twice in the victory.
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Top 3 Predictions
VfB Stuttgart 0-3 FC Bayern München
- 17.19 %
VfB Stuttgart 1-3 FC Bayern München
- 15.06 %
VfB Stuttgart 0-2 FC Bayern München
- 13.7 %
|1. Bundesliga (GER1)||Jan 29, 2014||VfB Stuttgart 1 - FC Bayern München 2|
|Germany - DFB-Pokal (GERC)||Jun 1, 2013||FC Bayern München 3 - VfB Stuttgart 2|
|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|
|Mar 8, 2014||VfB Stuttgart 2 - Eintracht Braunschweig 2||GER1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Eintracht Frankfurt 2 - VfB Stuttgart 1||GER1|
|Feb 22, 2014||VfB Stuttgart 1 - Hertha BSC 2||GER1|
|Feb 15, 2014||Hoffenheim 4 - VfB Stuttgart 1||GER1|
|Feb 9, 2014||VfB Stuttgart 1 - FC Augsburg 4||GER1|
|6||William Kvist Jörgensen||Midfielder|
|26||Felipe Aliste Lopes||Defender|
|5||Daniel Van Buyten||Defender|
The 28-year-old was suspended as Stuttgart fell to a 2-0 defeat to Wolfsburg last Saturday and with 10 goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances this season, his absence was certainly felt. His return to the starting XI is a sizeable boost and if a chance does arise then he will be sure to take it.
Injury has been a painful and recurring theme for the Netherlands winger over the years. He was named on the substitutes' bench following yet another spell on the sidelines in the win over Greuther Furth, but after an encouraging 20-minute cameo he could start and inject his blend of pace and skill.
Manuel Neuer labelled VfB "unpredictable" on Friday and they could well give the Bavarians an early scare before the Bundesliga leaders find their rhythm and power to yet another victory.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed