bundesliga.com has all the must-have pre-match information ahead of this fixture at the Allianz Arena...
Bayern are down in fifth in the early season standings and will be looking to remedy that against Stuttgart. With the fixtures coming thick and fast over the next few weeks, nothing less than a confidence-boosting win will do. For the visitors, meanwhile, it might be a case of damage limitation as they lick their wounds from a humbling 2-0 home defeat to 1. FC Köln on Matchday 2 that left them with a solitary point on the board so far.
Pep Guardiola has several of his first-choice XI unavailable to him, with Arjen Robben (ankle), Javi Martinez (cruciate ligament), Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thiago and Rafinha (all with knee trouble) on the sidelines. With the Catalan coach expected to employ a three-man defence once more, could move into defensive midfield, while new recruit Medhi Benatia (pictured) is fit and available to make his Bayern debut. Ribery is also set for his comeback from injury.
The queue outside the treatment room in Stuttgart is considerably shorter, with all of the side’s internationals having returned to the club unscathed. “Several of our players came back [from international duty] feeling more confident,” said coach Armin Veh. “We’re obviously delighted when they have positive experiences.” The only member of his first-team squad unavailable for selection is injured striker Mohammed Abdellaoue.
To say the defending Bundesliga champions haven't been at their barnstorming best so far this season is no exaggeration, with the side labouring to break down their opponents at times. In the absence of Robben's directness, the return of will be all the more important, and Guardiola will be looking to the Frenchman's pace and trickery to unlock the visiting defence.
With the hosts experimenting with a three-man backline and their summer signings still acclimatising to Bayern’s playing style, Guardiola’s charges have looked vulnerable so far this term, with the narrow 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg and Matchday 2’s 1-1 draw in Schalke demonstrating as much. The visitors will therefore need striker to be on form and ready to pounce on any uncertainty at the back.
Ribery: "I feel good and I’m ready for Saturday. Now I need to find my rhythm again."
Veh: "Bayern are obviously favourites but I nevertheless want to see us try and win in Munich. We don’t want to come home empty handed."
Bayern are about to embark on a period of six matches in 18 days and so will be looking to begin that series on a high. They may not be in full flow just yet but the Reds are still a formidable side and are as yet unbeaten this season. Stuttgart have had a rather more shaky start, drawing 1-1 with Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 1 before losing 2-0 at home to promoted side 1. FC Köln last time out.
These two have met each other 94 times in Germany’s top flight over the years, with Bayern winning on 57 occasions to Stuttgart’s 17. The Bavarians have scored 189 times in that period, and conceded just 109 in return. VfB have lost all 11 of the teams’ most recent competitive fixtures, with their last victory over die Münchner coming back in March 2010.
Bayern: Neuer - Boateng, Badstuber, Dante - Rode, Lahm, Alaba - Müller, Götze, Ribery - Lewandowski
Stuttgart: Ulreich - Klein, Rüdiger, Niedermeier, Sakai - Romeu, Gentner - Harnik, Didavi, Maxim - Ibisevic