German Cup Preview: VfB Stuttgart v. Bayern Munich
VfB Stuttgart were winners of the Bundesliga in the 2006-07 season when Bremen, Schalke, and Bayern were just unable to win. A very young side led by Thomas Hitzlsperger, "Super Mario" Gomez, and Timo Hildebrand snatched the title at the last day of the season from Schalke’s jaws and showed the world that Bayern or Bremen don’t always have to win the Bundesliga.
Bayern have won the Bundesliga 21 times and they would love to do it again. Jurgen Klinsmann’s men would love a miracle to see them through to the top of the table again from their current 11th.
Stuttgart at the moment are in a form which can’t be called poor, but it can’t be called excellent either. They thrashed Werder 4-1 with a scintillating display, only to be beaten by Hertha 2-1 the following week.
Bayern, on the other hand, had no fairytale at any part of the season. However, a league win over Karlsruhe (Miroslav Klose 86’) as well as a Champions League win over Fiorentina (Miro Klose 4’, Schweini 22’, Ze Roberto 90’) shows that a fairy tale run of straight wins might just be starting.
If so, after the Wolfsburg game, the next victims of the Bayern players’ newly gained confidence might be Stuttgart.
Stuttgart are not a worldclass side but they have shown that they can easily overturn a worldclass side such as Bremen or Bayern.
So who’s going to progress to the DFB Quarters? The strong Bayern or the minnows Stuttgart?
Bayern Munich: Michael Rensing - Massimo Oddo, Martin Demichellis, Lucio, Breno - Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mark van Bommel, Ze Roberto, Franck Ribery - Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose
VfB Stuttgart: Lehmann – Trasch, Tasci, Delpierre, Magnin – Hilbert, Hitzlsperger, Pardo, Boka – Gomez, Caucau
Prediction: Bayern should be too strong for the minnows and should win convincingly. Due to Stuttgart’s home advantage, however, this one might turn out to be a pretty competitive game. Final score: Stuttgart 1 Bayern 2.
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