presented by
Search Fill-1
Menu
Preview - Bayern vs. Stuttgart

'Definitely go into the international break with a win'

Increase font size Text size

The southern clash is almost upon us! On Bundesliga Matchday 26, FC Bayern host VfB Stuttgart at the Allianz Arena on Saturday morning (live text and webradio commentary from 10:30 am ET on fcbayern.com). For the front-runners, it's all about taking their lead at the top into the international break. Check out our preview for everything you need to know about the game with the Swabians.

During the week, Bayern continued to boost their confidence against Lazio (2-1) with their fifth consecutive win in a competitive match.

The situation for FC Bayern

It's been another packed week of football and from Bayern's perspective, a brilliant one so far: The 3-1 win at Werder Bremen last Saturday meant the reigning champions increased their lead over second-placed Leipzig (1-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt) to four points, before booking their quarter-final spot in the Champions League against Lazio on Wednesday. The men from Munich now want to build on that against Stuttgart: "We definitely want to go into the international break with a win," demanded Hansi Flick in his press conference on Friday. For the record champions, it would be their sixth straight win in a competitive match - but it won't be easy. "The reverse fixture was on a knife edge for a long time," said Leon Goretzka, thinking back to Bayern's 3-1 win at VfB at the end of November, adding: "We want to put on a good performance and win the game."

Enjoy the best images from Bayern's final training session before hosting Stuttgart in our gallery:

The opponents: VfB Stuttgart

Stuttgart, who were promoted last season, are enjoying an almost carefree Bundesliga campaign. With a 15-point gap to the relegation zone, the eighth-placed team can slowly start planning for another year in the top flight: "We're currently in a very good position and we're close to our goal for the season. That allows you to play with a certain energy," said VfB coach Pellegrino Matarazzo, who hopes to take the momentum from five league games without defeat with him to Munich. The 2-0 win against Hoffenheim last matchday "has done us good, you can feel an anticipation for the game," the 43-year-old continued, and he would now like a confident performance from his team at Bayern: "To be able to hold our own in Munich, we should trust in our strengths."

To mark its first anniversary, the "Reds against Racism" initiative will be at the forefront at the home match against Stuttgart - among other things with specially designed corner flags, captain's armbands, terrace banners and partner integration. The players of all four FCB teams in action this weekend will wear the message "Reds against Racism" during their warm-up.

Team news for Bayern vs. Stuttgart

In addition to Kingsley Coman (muscular problems), who has been struggling lately, Manuel Neuer was also back in team training on Friday after missing the Champions League match against Lazio due to a cold, and should be between the posts against VfB: "It's looking good with Manu. If he can play, he will play," explained Flick. Joshua Kimmich, on the other hand, is doubtful: "He's got some flu-like symptoms and the sniffles," said the 56-year-old coach, adding that after a phone call with his midfielder, he was feeling more confident for Saturday. However, long-term absentees Corentin Tolisso (ruptured tendon) and Tanguy Nianzou (rehabilitative training following a torn thigh muscle) are still out, and Douglas Costa is probably not yet an option after suffering a hairline fracture in his metatarsal.

Stuttgart will be hoping for the return of forward Nicolás González, who has been out recently due to a torn muscle. "Nico is an option for the squad and if he feels fit enough for 60 minutes, also an option for the starting XI," Matarazzo revealed. Clinton Mola (rehabilitative training after cartilage damage in his hip), Lilian Egloff (pain in his foot) and Hamadi Al Ghaddioui (rehabilitative training after tearing his ankle joint) will be absent.

After recovering from a cold, captain Manuel Neuer could be back in goal against Stuttgart.

Stuttgart will be hoping for the return of forward Nicolás González, who has been out recently due to a torn muscle. "Nico is an option for the squad and if he feels fit enough for 60 minutes, also an option for the starting XI," Matarazzo revealed. Clinton Mola (rehabilitative training after cartilage damage in his hip), Lilian Egloff (pain in his foot) and Hamadi Al Ghaddioui (rehabilitative training after tearing his ankle joint) will be absent.

Check out the other important games taking place on MD 26 from Bayern's perspective:

What the coaches say

Hansi Flick: "Stuttgart's playing style is very focused on possession, they're good at holding territory. They have a lot of intelligent players in midfield and players with a lot of speed in the final third. We have to adapt well to that. It's important that we try to dominate the game, to bring our quality into the game. That's the job of the team. We definitely want to go into the international break with a win."

Pellegrino Matarazzo (VfB Stuttgart coach): "Bayern Munich are one of the top teams in the world. Our chances of scoring there are rather slim. But you can feel that the boys believe in taking their chance, are going full pelt and want to lock horns with them. We have to break our opponent's rhythm. When Bayern have space to put passes together, they're difficult to defend against. If we don't have the courage to want to play football, then it will be difficult to compete in Munich."

If you want to know more about the game against Stuttgart, check out our facts and stats:

News
More