After Borussia Dortmund beat RB Leipzig on Friday to move top of the Bundesliga table, Bayern Munich will attempt to reclaim pole position when they face Stuttgart on Saturday.
|Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
After claiming a comfortable 3-0 victory over FC Köln in their most recent home game, Stuttgart were brought back down to earth last weekend, losing 2-1 away to basement side Schalke 04. Stuttgart trailed at half time following goals from Dominick Drexler and Marius Bülter, and although they pulled a goal back through Borna Sosa just after the hour mark, an equaliser ultimately proved elusive.
Having won just one of their eight league games in Bruno Labbadia's second spell in charge, Stuttgart sit just outside the bottom three on goal difference. Stuttgart have at least proven to be a tough team to beat at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in recent times, after losing just one of their last six Bundesliga home games.
Although they have not beaten Bayern in a home league game since November 2007, Stuttgart have managed to avoid defeat in their previous two meetings with the Bavarians, playing out 2-2 away draws in May and September last year.
With Sosa suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards, Labbadia has indicated that Nikolas Nartey will slot in at left-back on Saturday. After returning from injury to feature as a late substitute against Schalke, Tiago Tomas will be available to start against Bayern. However, the visitors are still unable to call upon Florian Müller and
Bayern may have one eye on Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain, but first, they must focus on Saturday's meeting with Stuttgart.
After losing 3-2 to Borussia Mönchengladbach in their most recent away trip, Bayern returned to winning ways last weekend, cruising to a comfortable win over title rivals Union Berlin. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala all found the net in the first half to guide Bayern to consecutive 3-0 home victories.
Following Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 win over RB Leipzig on Friday, Bayern will begin Saturday's encounter three points adrift of Edin Terzic's side. However, due to their superior goal difference, the Bavarians will reclaim top spot if they can beat a struggling Stuttgart side.
Since playing out a goalless draw with Stuttgart in October 2009, Bayern have recorded 12 straight competitive away wins over Die Swaben. Impressively, the Bavarians have scored two goals in all bar one of those 12 victories, and on their last trip to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in December 2021, they racked up five goals thanks to a Serge Gnabry hat trick and a Robert Lewandowski brace.
Leroy Sane has struggled with an ankle injury this week, but Julian Nagelsmann is hopeful the winger will be fit for Saturday's contest. The Bayern boss will also look to give more minutes to Sadio Mané, who returned from a long layoff to appear as a substitute against Union last weekend.
There is doubt over the availability of Noussair Mazraoui, while Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernandez are long-term injury absentees.