Preview: VfB Stuttgart v FC Bayern München

VfB Stuttgart will hope their incredible home record counts for something when they welcome German champions FC Bayern München to the Mercedes-Benz-Arena in Saturday’s Bundesliga contest.

Bundesliga
Date: 1 September 2018
Game week 2
Kick-off: 18:30 (GMT+2)
Venue: Mercedes-Benz-Arena

Referee: H. Osmers
Assistants: T. Gorniak, F. Assmuth
Fourth official: D. Schlager

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Stuttgart 106 19 20 67
Bayern 106 67 20 19

Previous encounter:

Bayern 1-4 Stuttgart 12/05/18 (Bundesliga)

Bayern goalscorer: C. Tolisso (21′)
Stuttgart goalscorers: D. Ginczek (5′, 55′), A. Donis (42′), C. Akolo (52′)

Players to watch:

Mario Gomez will no doubt be highly motivated to put in a top performance against Bayern, having spent four seasons with the Bavarians from 2009 until 2013. Now 33, the striker still appears to have plenty of goals in his locker and could be a real threat to the away side’s defence.

Despite approaching his 35th birthday in January, winger Arjen Robben shows no signs of slowing down and already bagged a goal in the opening day victory over Hoffenheim. The Dutchman could be one to watch as he uses his pace, skill and guile to get at the opposing defence.

Team form and manager quotes:

Stuttgart have a tremendous home record at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena having won 10 of their last 15 matches in all competitions, while losing just once.

However, Die Roten have had a poor start to the current campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Hansa Rostock in the German cup, as well as a defeat to Mainz in their opening Bundesliga encounter.

Nonetheless, manager Tayfun Korkut says his side are in a re-building phase though he does understand the magnitude of the task in facing Bayern.

He said: “The determination, purpose and effectiveness in finishing is something we will continue to work on persistently.

“We are in a phase of development, which requires time and is not yet completed.That will be a very different game against an absolutely top team.”

Meanwhile, the visitors are showing some very promising signs of once again sweeping all before them in Germany’s top-flight under new manager Niko Kovac.

Thus far in 2018/19 with the champions, Bayern won in the cup and put in a convincing display in beating a highly physical Hoffenheim 3-1 in the league.

The Croatian displayed his world class pedigree as a coach last season when he led Eintracht Frankfurt to win the DFB-Pokal Cup by beating Bayern in the final.

Earlier this week Kovac won the Coach of the Year for the feat and he said: “I didn’t earn this award by myself. It also belongs to my coaching staff, who put in so much effort, and the players, who did everything to achieve success. I thank you all.”

Team news:

The hosts have virtually a clean bill of health though goalkeeper Alexander Meyer will likely play no part as he continues to recover from a serious injury.

For Bayern, Leon Goretzka could be available despite picking up an ankle injury during Bastian Schweinsteiger’s testimonial match involving Chicago Fire last Tuesday. Kingsley Coman remains out with a long term ankle injury.

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