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Southern derby in Stuttgart

FC Bayern on the hunt for three points

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The numbers tell the story: 58 of the previous 95 Bundesliga matches against VfB Stuttgart have ended in victory for FC Bayern. The Swabians have not lost as often to any other team in Germany’s top flight. FCB have won the last twelve competitive meetings scoring 35 goals along the way. So the prospects could hardly be better for coach Pep Guardiola and his players as they look to get back to winning ways at Stuttgart on Saturday (Live in English from 15:30 pm CET on Twitter and Web Radio).

“It’s our third match in the second half of the season and we’re going to try and win the game,” said the Spaniard on Friday ahead of the final pre-match training session at Säbener Straße in the hope of picking up three points after two matches without a win in 2015. “People don’t expect FC Bayern not to win two games on the bounce,” declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “I have to admit I’m a bit impatient. It would be great if the team can win tomorrow.”

The FCB chairman is “not nervous” but he is expecting a “tough” away game against the team currently sixteenth in the table and also without a win since the winter break: “Stuttgart are fighting for their lives and they want to avoid going down. We’ve got to try to get back on track not just to be in good shape for the Bundesliga but also for the Champions League. That starts again in less than two weeks with the match against Shakhtar Donetsk,” added Rummenigge.

In addition to long-term absentees Javi Martínez, Thiago and Philipp Lahm, Guardiola will also have to make do without the suspended central defender Jérôme Boateng for the match against the weakest home team in the league (five points from nine home fixtures, six games without a win, five matches without scoring a single goal). The encounter with Stuttgart has come too early for Franck Ribéry and Rafinha. Both returned to the training ground for the first time after injury on Friday and are expected to be back in full training at the start of next week.

FCB have enough quality to beat VfB Stuttgart even without the missing players. “We’re always the favourites against Stuttgart,” declared Guardiola. Dante, who replaced Boateng in the back four in the 1-1 draw at home to Schalke 04, is confident the league leaders from Munich are “on the right track.” He added the team “played much better” against Schalke compared with the match at VfL Wolfsburg and he believes “we will win again” if FCB build on that performance at Stuttgart.

Update on opponents VfB Stuttgart

  • Sidelined: Geoffroy Serey Die (Africa Cup), Daniel Didavi (knee), Antonio Rüdiger (rehab), Carlos Gruezo (torn muscle), Mohammed Abdellaoue (rehab).

  • Coach Huub Stevens: “It’s clear Bayern are on a different level to us. They’re one of the best teams in Europe. You’ve got to be realistic. We’re miles away from being on par with Bayern.”