Record signing Javi Martinez could be set to make his Bayern debut against Stuttgart
Record signing Javi Martinez could be set to make his Bayern debut against Stuttgart

The derby that isn't a derby

Munich - Given Germany's sheer land-mass, the word 'derby' in the English sense of the word is lost in translation somewhat when it comes to the Bundesliga.

Bayern looking to build

FC Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart may be over 200 kilometres away from one another as the crow flies, but that doesn't stop German football fans referring to this clash, the latest incarnation of which takes place on Sunday evening at the Allianz Arena (kick-off 17:30 CET), a 'Southern Derby'.

In spite of the distance, both players and fans are looking forward to the match as though the two clubs were neighbours, with Bayern eager to build on their 3-0 opening victory against Greuther Fürth last week as they look to pull away from title rivals Dortmund at an early stage.

"We started well and now we want to push on," said FCB captain Philipp Lahm, acknowledging the quality of the visitors nonetheless: "VfB have got some very dangerous players in attack and they're going to be well prepared."

Unlucky last week

Stuttgart were unlucky to lose their opener at home to Wolfsburg after Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic missed a late penalty and following a good performance in that game, the Swabians are hopeful of frustrating the record champions.

"We're going to have to put up some resistance," said VfB coach Bruno Labbadia. "We need to make sure we stay organised and that means defending from the front too. To be honest we've developed so well recently that we should be aiming to play our own game."

Martinez set for debut

That may be tough against a hungry Munich side who added Spanish international Javi Martinez to their ranks during the week for a Bundesliga record fee. The defensive midfielder turns 24 on Sunday and will be hoping to celebrate his birthday with an appearance.

A further 71,000 fans will be equally keen to see the Spaniard in action. The Allianz Arena's capacity was increased over the summer, which should make for a superb atmosphere inside the stadium and one which Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulrich is sure to relish: "It's always cool playing in Munich," he said. "It's always a full house and there are going to be plenty of VfB fans there too."

Possible line-ups:

Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Can - Luiz Gustavo, Kroos - Robben, T. Müller, Ribery - Mandzukic

Stuttgart: Ulreich - Hoogland, Tasci, Maza, Boka - Kvist, Gentner - Harnik, Hajnal, Okazaki - Ibisevic

Andy James reporting from Munich