Picking the Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup to Face Stuttgart on Saturday

After seeing Jupp Heynckes flirt with the idea of a new formation on Wednesday, where Bayern secured a 1-0 victory over FC Köln, the reigning Bundesliga champions will likely stick to their guns in their final league match before the winter break.

With a trip to Stuttgart set for Saturday afternoon, the Bavarians will be keeping one eye on their DFB-Pokal match against Borussia Dortmund next week when it comes to team selection.

Here’s who Heynckes could pick at the Mercedes-Benz Arena:

Goalkeeper

  • Ulreich

    Ulreich26

Sven Ulreich will likely return to the Bayern starting lineup on Saturday, with the 29-year-old overcoming a recent injury to face his former club.

Defence

  • Kimmich

    Kimmich32

  • Boateng

    Boateng17

  • Martínez

    Martínez8

  • Alaba

    Alaba27

Although Bayern will be looking to rest players ahead of Der Klassiker next week, Stuttgart’s impressive home record this season means some regular first-team stars will be featured on Saturday. 

Joshua Kimmich could return to the starting lineup along with Javi Martínez, while Jérôme Boateng and David Alaba should retain their spot in the first-team.

Midfield

A midfield five for Bayern Munich would see Sebastian Rudy acting as their deep-lying playmaker. 

Arturo Vidal will help break up Stuttgart’s dangerous counter-attacks, while James Rodríguez will offer the visitors more going forward.

Kingsley Coman could be drafted back in to offer Bayern more pace going on the wings, while Thomas Müller should retain his place on the right flank.

Forwards

  • Lewandowski

    Lewandowski9

With Bayern already sniffing out the transfer market for a new striker to support Robert Lewandowski, this could be Heynckes’ last Bundesliga match where the Polish forward doesn’t walk into the side. 

Already with 21 goals this season, which included one in the DFL-Supercup, Lewandowski is once again scoring goals for fun and looks set to be crowned as the league’s top goalscorer in May.

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Resurgent Marseille Star Florian Thauvin Linked With Atletico Madrid & Bayern Munich

?Former Newcastle United flop Florian Thauvin has spectacularly resurrected his career since returning to Marseille to the point where European giants Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich are reportedly now showing an interest in him.

Thauvin struggled to adapt to English football following a 2015 move from Marseille worth close to €20m and found himself back in the south of France on loan just six months later.

Newcastle United v Arsenal - Premier League

The winger then enjoyed a very strong second loan with his former club for the duration of 2016/17, before an €11m deal to secure his permanent return was arranged for July.

Thauvin scored 15 goals for Marseille in Ligue 1 last season and has already bagged eight goals and eight assists in only 16 league games so far in 2017/18.

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According to L’Equipe, that level of form hasn’t gone unnoticed, catching the attention Atletico Madrid as they make preparations for life after Antoine Griezmann – the forward will potentially be joining Manchester United or Barcelona in summer.

Bayern Munich are also linked with a possible move for Thauvin.

Despite securing a new contract worth just over €100,000-per-week on his permanent return to Marseille, the 24-year-old is said to be generally dissatisfied with his salary at Stade Velodrome.


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Stuttgart vs Bayern Munich Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

Bayern Munich travel west on Saturday to face newly promoted VfB Stuttgart on the final day on the Bundesliga season before the winter break.

The Bavarians have been revitalised since Jupp Heynckes succeeded Carlo Ancelotti at the helm of the club, with Bayern set to head into the quiet Christmas period at the top of the Bundesliga table.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game at the Mercedes-Benz Arena:


Classic Encounter

FC Bayern Muenchen VfB Stuttgart - DFB Cup Final

There is no team in Germany that has conceded defeat against Bayern more times than Saturday’s hosts. In 114 games, Bayern have an outstanding 64.9% win ration against Stuttgart.

Back in 2013, these two sides met in the DFB-Pokal final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, with Bayern surviving a late revival from the Swabians to lift the silverware and complete their outstanding treble.

Not long after Serdar Tasci survived a penalty scare, Guinean winger Ibrahima Traoré brought down Philipp Lahm in the box and allowed Thomas Müller to score from 12 yards out.

Mario Gómez then notched himself a brace early in the second-half, seemingly putting the game to bed against his former side.

However, Austrian winger Martin Harnik managed to score two goals for Stuttgart and left Bayern fans biting their nails for the final 10 minutes of the game. Stuttgart were unable to find a third and Bayern rounded off their season with a third trophy, cementing Jupp Heynckes’ side in the history books of European football.


Key Battle

Santiago Ascacibar vs Arturo Vidal

1. FC Kaiserslautern v VfB Stuttgart - DFB Cup

Two South American midfielders could be vital for their respective sides at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. For Stuttgart, the arrival of Santiago Ascacibar, who completed a €6m move from hometime side Estudiantes in the summer, has given them some much-needed aggression in the midfield.

The 20-year-old has shown incredible promise since arriving in Baden-Württemberg and looks set to join the Argentine national team setup sooner rather than later.

For Bayern, their trusted midfield general Arturo Vidal will be tasked with roughing up Stuttgart’s dangerous attacking players and disrupting their possession. Having seen Borussia Dortmund travel to the Mercedes-Benz Arena this season and lose, Stuttgart’s attacking threat can’t be overlooked by the visitors.


Team News

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga

Seeing Anastasios Donis and Chadrac Akolo forced off the pitch inside 35 minutes against neighbours TSG Hoffenheim certainly wasn’t what Stuttgart needed ahead of their match with Bayern.
Although the later could return on Saturday, the goal-shy Swabians will still find it difficult hitting the back of the net against Bayern. Daniel Ginczek could return for the hosts, while long-term absentees Carlos Mané and Matthias Zimmermann are expected to be out of action until the new year.
Manuel Neuer is still missing in between the sticks for Bayern, while Arjen Robben is set to be assessed on his fitness on Monday. Kingsley Coman could also be left out against Stuttgart with a hip injury, while Spanish left-back Juan Bernat is expected to travel to the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Potential VfB Stuttgart Starting Lineup: Zieler, Beck, Pavard, Badstuber, Baumgartl, Insua, Ascacibar, Gentner, Özcan, Brekalo, Asano.
Potential Bayern Munich Starting Lineup: Ulreich, Kimmich, Boateng, Martínez, Alaba, Rudy, Vidal, Rodríguez, Müller, Coman, Lewandowski.

Prediction

Bayern Muenchen v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League

Although many fans expected Stuttgart to avoid relegation this season, their home form and overall performances have come as a surprise. The Swabians are yet to be rolled over by anyone, with valiant performances coming in defeats to Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen.
However, the reigning Bundesliga champions should have too much for Hannes Wolf’s side to contain, with this fixture more of a pre-Dortmund test for Bayern, ahead of Wednesday’s third round DFB-Pokal match.
Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 1-4 Bayern Munich

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Bayern Legend Reveals Why He Rejected Manchester United During Sir Alex Ferguson Era

?Legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn has opened up about turning down Manchester United as he looked to build a dynasty at Bayern Munich.

The German stopper spoke to ?SportBild about why former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is still “mad” at him to this day for rejecting the Scot’s advances in the early 2000s.

Kahn, who won the Golden Ball award at the 2002 World Cup, did admit hat he harbours some regret over not taking up Ferguson’s offer to move to Old Trafford but, naturally, there’s little he can do about it now.

Stoke City v Manchester United - Premier League

He revealed: “Sir Alex Ferguson is still mad at me today. He thought that I would move to Manchester United in 2003 or 2004, but I was more interested in trying to define an era at Bayern.

“Looking back, I should have done it then. It would have been a nice challenge for me.”

Kahn is still far and away the shot stopper with the most Bundesliga appearances after he racked up a hugely impressive 557 starts for Bayern during his playing days.

German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn shouts dur

The 48-year-old won a whole plethora of trophies with Die Bayern including eight top flight league titles, six German Cups and the 2001 Champions League.

Kahn might have had two Champions League medals to his name had he not let in two last-minute goals against United in the 1999 final, and he went on to joke that he does look back fondly on that inaugural triumph for the Red Devils – just not the last few moments of the clash

He added: “I remember the Champions League final against Manchester United as a win – I just forgot the last two minutes.”

The 85-time Germany international, who retired in the summer of 2008, made 692 appearances in all competitions for Bayern and kept 249 clean sheets during that time.


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Bayern Keeper Manuel Neuer Could Miss 1st UCL Knockout Tie as Timeline for Return Lengthens

?Bayern Munich have been rocked by the latest development in Manuel Neuer’s injury recovery, with the German international now ruled out for longer than initially expected.

Neuer, who hasn’t played since the 4-0 win over Mainz in September after injuring a previously broken foot in training, was said to be aiming for a January return.

FC Bayern Muenchen Annual General Assembly

But according to German source ?Kicker, the stopper could miss the first leg of Bayern’s Champions League round of 16 match, which will be against Besiktas in February next year.

While it isn’t clear if he will be ready in time for the second leg in March, Kicker reckons that it’s possible.

Earlier this week, Neuer opened up on his rehabilitation and revealed that he doesn’t intend to rush himself back, but will definitely be playing in the World Cup.

“It is difficult to say when I will make a comeback,” he said. “Firstly, I have to get 100 percent fit and at the moment I’m still on crutches.

“I hope to be able to ditch my two friends [the crutches] in the New Year and then step up my recovery, but it’s hard to predict when I will return to the pitch. I am taking my time and not taking any risks -I need to be 100 percent.

“I have to say the other goalkeepers have performed well, but I fully expect to be back in goal at the World Cup.

“In my opinion, there’s nothing standing in the way of me playing in the World Cup.”

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