By 90Min
August 31, 2018

Niko Kovac will be hoping to make it two league wins from two when his Bayern Munich side face Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Saturday.

The hosts have endured a frustrating start to the season, as Tayfun Korkut's side lost in the first

round of the DFB-Pokal to Bundesliga 3 outfit Hansa, before losing their opening game of the Bundesliga campaign to Mainz.

Bayern Munich meanwhile have already secured a German Super Cup and passage to the DFB-Pokal second round, before beginning the Bundesliga season with victory over Hoffenheim, and will be looking to follow up with another win this weekend. 


Classic Encounter


Bayern Munich 1-4 Stuttgart (12th May 2018)


Stuttgart have a wretched record against their opponents, winning only one of their last 14 encounters in the league, although their only win during that time came in their most recent meeting, on the final day of last season. 

Adam Pretty/GettyImages

Having already sewn up a sixth consecutive Bundesliga title, Bayern's impending celebrations were slightly dampened by Stuttgart, as goals from Daniel Ginczek and Anastasios Donis flanked a Corentin Tolisso strike to give the visitors a 2-1 lead at half time.

Jupp Heynckes' side had one eye on their upcoming DFB-Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt the next week, as Stuttgart added two more goals through Chadrac Akolo and Ginczek to complete the 4-1 win, inflicting Heynckes' only home defeat in the league that season, having stepped into the breach in October due to the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti. 


Key Battle


Benjamin Pavard vs Robert Lewandowski


After making a name for himself on a global stage following France's World Cup triumph at right back, Benjamin Pavard will revert to his more accustomed position of centre back for Stuttgart, and will need to be at his best when he comes up against Robert Lewandowski. 

TF-Images/GettyImages

The prolific Bayern Munich striker has hit the ground running this season, scoring five goals in three games already in all competitions, as the 30-year-old looks to better last season's outstanding total of 41 goals in 48 games. 

Lewandowski however failed to score against Stuttgart last season, with Pavard playing in both games, and the 22-year-old will be hoping for more of the same this weekend, but knows it'll be a tall order keeping one of the world's best strikers quiet for 90 minutes, who will look to drift off the centre backs into space, giving himself more time to finish his chances. 


Team News


Korkut only has one absentee to deal with for Stuttgart in goalkeeper Alexander Meyer (ligament), but he may tinker with his side following the opening day defeat, as Daniel Didavi pushes for a starting place. 

Carsten Harz/GettyImages

For Bayern Munich, Kovac will be without Kingsley Coman (ankle) after sustaining an injury in the win over Hoffenheim, while Leon Goretzka (ankle) is a doubt after limping out of Bastian Schweinsteiger's testimonial game with the knock earlier in the week. 


Potential Starting Lineups


Stuttgart (4-4-1-1): Zeiler; Maffeo, Pavard, Badstuber, Insua; Gentner, Castro, Ascacibar, Thommy; Didavi; Gomez


Bayern Munich (4-3-3): Neuer; Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Alaba; Muller, Martinez, Thiago; Robben, Lewandowski, Ribery 


Prediction


It's hard to look past Die Roten making it two Bundesliga wins from two this weekend, and will go into their clash against Stuttgart as the undoubted favourites. 

Lars Baron/GettyImages

Although Die Schwaben won the most recent encounter, they haven't won at home against Saturday's opponents in the league since 2007, and look likely to extend that run to the side many believe will make it seven consecutive Bundesliga titles come the end of the season. 

While Stuttgart will be a difficult side to break down, having conceded 36 league goals last season, bettered only by Bayern Munich's 28, Saturday's hosts only scored 36 in the league, as their lack of goal threat could hinder any chances of a win against a free-scoring Bayern.

Prediction: Stuttgart 0-2 Bayern Munich

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