It has indeed been over six years since Stuttgart defeated Bayern Munich. Their last positive result – across all competitions – was back on March 27, 2010, when die Roten powered past the “other” Roten 2-1. Since then, it has been nothing but smooth sailing for Bayern Munich and misery for Stuttgart.
How bad? Well, Bayern have beaten Stuttgart in every single one of their past 14 games across all competitions. Even if one deducts the three DFB-Pokal ties, it is nonetheless still 11 Bundesliga matches sans a win for Saturday’s hosts. And should the Bavarian powerhouse defeat them yet again, Stuttgart will become the third member of a rather undesirable trio.
Only Nuremberg and Freiburg – neither of whom are playing in German football’s top tier this season – have lost more consecutive games against Bayern Munich (12). The reverse fixture earlier this season concluded as a heavy 4-0 loss for Stuttgart, and in fact, they have not scored against their upcoming opponents since January 29, 2014. Not exactly positive reading for Jürgen Kramny, who has to now make do without yet another key player following their 2-2 draw with Darmstadt this past weekend.
Influential midfielder Serey Die has been added to the injury list, which also includes ex-Dortmund man Kevin Grosskreutz, Daniel Ginczek, Arianit Ferati, and Toni Sunjic, making Stuttgart’s already difficult task even more insurmountable. Given their six year long hoodoo against Bayern Munich, coupled with their injury crisis, the hosts will be hoping that their visitors will be already distracted by their crunch Champions League clash coming up next week.
Like his tactician opponent, Pep Guardiola will also be without the services of a handful of important players, also due to injury. Arjen Robben, Mehdi Benatia, Holger Badstuber, and Jerome Boateng are those who will not take part in Saturday’s match. And with a trip to Benfica’s home ground coming up, it will be interesting to see if – and how – Guardiola opts to manage his squad for this weekend’s match.
Although Bayern Munich will be coming into this game having won their past three Bundesliga matches, Guardiola may be a bit concerned with the lack of overall goals from his men. Two of those wins were 1-0 results, and they did not exactly cruise to a comfortable victory over Benfica earlier this week. Arturo Vidal’s early header was enough to give die Roten a victory over the Portuguese outfit, but their opponents are still very much involved in their two-legged tie and the 2013 Champions League winners will have to do better in Portugal to book their spot in the semi-finals.
With an excellent track record against Stuttgart, Guardiola will be hoping that his team will kick into another gear ahead of the big game versus Benfica next week. Will viewers see the “real” Bayern Munich this weekend – and be treated to a goal-fest in the process? Or will Stuttgart finally overcome their six-year hoodoo by pulling off what would be a very impressive upset?
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