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Dec 14, 2021 at 5.30pm UK
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Preview: Stuttgart vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Stuttgart vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Bundesliga clash between Stuttgart and Bayern Munich, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bayern Munich will look to extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to nine points when they travel to in-form Stuttgart on Tuesday evening.

The hosts are on a bright patch of form in recent weeks but still remain near the relegation places, whilst the visitors have the chance to open up a wider gap over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who do not play until Wednesday night.

Match preview

Following Augsburg's unexpected win at FC Koln on Friday evening, Stuttgart briefly dropped into the relegation playoff spot ahead of their trip to Wolfsburg in Saturday's late kick off.

However, after an impressive solid display, which saw Konstantinos Mavropanos and Philipp Forster net for Die Roten, Pellegrino Matarazzo's men came away with a 2-0 victory to leapfrog Augsburg back into 15th place ahead of matchday 16 in midweek.

Omar Marmoush also missed his panenka penalty late on, but Stuttgart put in a stubborn defensive performance to record their first away win of the campaign.

The victory also meant it is now seven points picked up from the last nine on offer, after previously recording seven points from the 33 available prior to that.

After 17 defeats from their last 18 encounters with Tuesday's opponents though, Matarazzo and his side will not be expected to add to their recent tally at the Mercedes Benz Arena.

For this reason, it will be frustrating for the American boss that they have to face the league leaders at this stage of their current run of form, as defeat could lead to Stuttgart heading into next week's winter break in the relegation places.

Meanwhile, Bayern capitalised on Dortmund's slip up at VfL Bochum on Saturday to move six points clear at the Bundesliga summit.

The Bavarians almost dropped points themselves though, as Kingsley Coman's and Jamal Musiala's second-half goals saw Julian Nagelsmann's side stumble over the line with a 2-1 comeback victory over Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena.

Die Bayern's first-half display was poor and they deserved to go into half time behind against their spirited opponents, but it did not take long for the giants to click into gear and find their rhythm in the second half.

The three points made it an incredible 20 wins from 24 games across all competitions this season, in what is Nagelsmann's first campaign in charge since his arrival from RB Leipzig in the summer, with the German tasked with leading the outfit to a 10th-consecutive Bundesliga title.

With wins like that on Saturday, as well as several over recent weeks, showing Bayern can still come out on top despite being far from their free-flowing best, it is difficult to see them being stopped in Stuttgart on Tuesday, or from retaining their crown come May.

Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Roberto Massimo passed a fitness test to start against Wolfsburg for Stuttgart on Saturday following a knock in their previous game, but following his withdrawal midway through the first half, he is expected to miss out against the champions on Tuesday.

Pascal Stenzel is likely to start from the off in his place, in what could be an otherwise unchanged starting 11 from Matarazzo following the impressive victory.

The absentees list remains long for Tuesday's hosts though, with last season's top goalscorer Sasa Kalajdzic expected to remain absent along with Enzo Millot, Erik Thommy, Fabian Bredlow, Borna Sosa, Nikolas Nartey, Philipp Klement and Mohamed Sankoh.

As for the visitors, Joshua Kimmich's troubles with COVID-19 are expected to keep him out until the new year, whilst fellow central midfielders Marcel Sabitzer and Leon Goretzka are expected to remain absent once more.

However, Serge Gnabry did return to the squad following a one-match absence and Mickael Cuisance's return to the bench boosted the central midfield options, although Corentin Tolisso and Musiala are expected to anchor the midfield once more.

Josip Stanisic and Eric Choupo-Moting are the other absentees for Nagelsmann to contend with ahead of the trip to Stuttgart.

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Muller; Mavropanos, Anton, Ito; Stenzel, Endo, Karazor, Coulibaly; Forster, Mangala; Marmoush

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Sule, Davies; Musiala, Tolisso; Coman, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski

We say: Stuttgart 1-2 Bayern Munich

Stuttgart are likely to put up a good fight on home soil on Tuesday evening, but despite Bayern barely getting out of second gear lately, they should overcome their hosts to record a fourth-straight league win here.

It is the reason that they have been Bundesliga champions for so long, but unless they put in a dreadful display, and Stuttgart put in a near-perfect performance, it is difficult to see anything other than an away win at the Mercedes Benz Arena.

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