Created on 22-05-2009 at 00:00 AM
Bayern fans will have their fingers crossed on Saturday when the men from Munich take on VfB Stuttgart in the last match of the campaign. Victory is the only way the champions can guarantee their target of finishing second in the league, and also keep alive their faint hopes of the title. fcbayern.de has delved into the archives and unearthed a string of good omens pointing in the Bavarians’ favour:
When Bayern entertain Stuttgart in Munich, the home side have almost always won. Bayern have lost only four of their 41 home matches against VfB, and have won the fixture on 27 occasions. There have been ten draws, with FCB scoring a total of 94 goals to their opponents’ 45. FCB have won seven and drawn one of their last eight meetings with VfB on home turf, and the last home defeat to Stuttgart came a decade ago, when a Krassimir Balakov penalty handed the Swabian outfit a 1-0 win in September 1999. That was also the only time in the last 40 meetings between the sides in Munich that Bayern failed to score at least once.
The final round of fixtures this term takes place on 23 May – a date forever engraved on FCB fans’ hearts, because Bayern last won the Champions League on 23 May 2001. Germany’s most successful club beat Valencia 4-3 on penalties in Milan that day. FCB have not contested a match on the same date since then.
Saturday’s match has historic significance for the Bavarians: the meeting with VfB is FCB’s 1,500th league fixture. Munich’s record in the 1,499 games to date makes impressive reading: 844 wins, 303 defeats and 352 draws, with 3,180 goals scored and 1,749 conceded. Interestingly, VfB Stuttgart are themselves poised to join the 1,500-game club. The Swabians have contested only eight matches fewer than FCB.
The history books
Bayern have proved almost invincible on the last day in recent times, losing just one of their last 16 final fixtures – a 1-0 defeat away to Schalke in 2003, when Munich had the title comfortably in the bag anyway with a 16-point margin over second-placed VfB Stuttgart. FCB have only ever lost once at home on the last day, a 1-0 defeat to Hamburg in 1974-5.
Florian Meyer from Burgdorf in Lower Saxony is the referee for Saturday’s match. The 40-year-old lawyer will be officiating a Bayern fixture for the seventh time this term. Meyer previously took charge of FCB’s Bundesliga fixtures in Bielefeld (a 1-0 win), Karlsruhe (also a 1-0 win), Berlin (a 2-1 defeat) and at home to Hoffenheim (a 2-1 win), plus the DFB Cup games in Erfurt (a 4-3 win) and Leverkusen (a 4-2 defeat). Meyer was also in charge of the corresponding fixture last season, which ended in a 4-1 win for Bayern over Stuttgart.