FC Bayern Munich: A Trip to Unpredictable Stuttgart Awaits
For any fan these days, writing about Bayern is rather easy. One needs to predict a scoreline which shows a Bayern victory and a paragraph on why Bayern cannot be complacent. Almost always, Bayern comes through. The Sud derby is definitely an exciting affair to build up to. However, in recent memory, it has been rather one-sided. The last time Stuttgart managed to take away anything from a clash against Bayern was in the 2009-10 season. They beat Bayern 1-2.
Since then, the two clubs have met seven times with Bayern winning all seven encounters. The meeting in the Allianz Arena this season was a goal fest. Stuttgart felt that they had a chance when they scored the first goal, but before they could blink, Bayern scored six goals to put the game beyond doubt. In the other six meetings, Bayern scored multiple goals each time to put Stuttgart to bed. Also, luck has never really favored Bruno Labbadia in Munich.
Labbadia, of course, played for Bayern before. Each time he faces Bayern, he must feel rather agitated. His team does score in some of the clashes, but somehow never wins. Last season, in an encounter which was rather pointless for Bayern and full of meaning for Stuttgart, Bayern won by two goals. Bayern was already guaranteed second by then, while Stuttgart was still fighting for European qualification.
This clash also sees two former players of Stuttgart return to Swabia. Firstly, Mario Gomez made his name at that club. He no longer is seemingly Jupp Heynckes' first-choice striker. Instead, Mario Mandzukic started against Greuther Furth and undoubtedly did a brilliant job.
The second member of the Bayern squad with a Stuttgart connection is Philipp Lahm. Lahm of course had a loan spell there. He showed Bayern then just how good a player he is.
Last week Lahm was visibly unhappy with the performance against Furth. Bayern played well and managed to score two goals, however, they still managed to underachieve
Jupp Heynckes was also slightly unhappy with the talk of Pep Guardiola in the media. The media should remember that Pep is more than a thousand miles away from Munich now. Pep is the future; the present is Heynckes.
The starting lineup for this one will probably be as follows:
Philipp Lahm- Daniel Van Buyten- Dante- David Alaba
Bastian Schweinsteiger- Javier Martinez
Thomas Muller- Toni Kroos- Franck Ribery
Dante has finally received a much deserved call up to the national side of Brazil.
Leopold Zingerle and Pierre Hojbjerg have been welcomed to training with the senior squad.
Hojbjgerg has been talked about a lot. He moved to FC Bayern from Brondby.
Zingerle might be named in the squad to face Stuttgart due to an injury to Tom Starke. The injury is not a serious one.
Finally, for those who do not know, Manchester United striker Federico Macheda has joined Stuttgart on loan in one of the Bundesliga's final winter transfers.
Prediction: Stuttgart 1-3 Bayern
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