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Without a win so far this season, Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side will struggle to lay a glove on Bayern Munich.
Back Stuttgart to score under 0.5 goals on Saturday.
This selection is an example of why you should always thoroughly examine the best online sportsbooks. The above wager is better value than a Bayern clean sheet at +110, even though they are in effect one and the same. For more tips like this, check out our guide on how to bet on soccer.
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Take a look at any number of statistics from the first five games of the Bundesliga season and there is a good chance that Bayern Munich are top. Julian Nagelsmann’s side have scored the most goals and conceded the fewest. They have the highest average possession and have taken the most shots. Bayern lead the way for expected goals and expected goals against, suggesting they have been the top-performing team at either end of the pitch.
Yet Bayern do not occupy first place where it matters most. Freiburg are top of the Bundesliga, level on points with Borussia Dortmund. Bayern have one fewer than the leading duo after surprise back-to-back draws with Borussia Monchengladbach and Union Berlin. No one saw those two results coming after Bayern took nine points from the first nine available, including thrashings of Eintracht Frankfurt (6-1) and Bochum (7-0).
Soccer is a low-scoring game, so results like those against Borussia Monchengladbach and Union can happen from time to time. Gladbach have had a mixed start to the season, but they can be tricky opponents to play against on their day. Even so, Bayern would surely have won that match 95 times out of 100. Gladbach relied on Yann Sommer to make an astonishing 19 saves, a new Bundesliga record.
Bayern will also have felt a little unfortunate to draw with Union Berlin, but such is the progress of the capital club over the last few years that 1-1 cannot be considered a bad result at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Still, Bayern will be keen to return to winning ways in the Bundesliga this weekend. A comfortable 2-0 victory over Inter on matchday one of the Champions League sets the title favorites up nicely for Stuttgart’s trip to Munich.
There are two ways to interpret Stuttgart’s start to the season. An optimistic view would focus on the fact that they have only lost one of their first five fixtures – and that was a narrow 1-0 defeat by Freiburg, the current league leaders. The other side of the coin is that Stuttgart are yet to win a game, with four draws out of five so far. A failure to beat either Werder Bremen or Schalke, the two promoted teams, was a particular source of disappointment.
Stuttgart are expected to be in the relegation mix this term. They finished 15th in 2021/22, avoiding the relegation play-off spot courtesy of a superior goal difference to Hertha Berlin. The club’s faith in Pellegrino Matarazzo was ultimately repaid: Stuttgart looked set to finish in the bottom two, but a late-season rally saw them clamber out of trouble.
The America-born coach will expect another tricky campaign this time around. Stuttgart have been tough to beat so far, but they need to start picking up wins sooner rather than later in order to boost morale.
Matarazzo will not expect to get anything from Saturday’s match, and a tough meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt is his team’s final assignment before the domestic soccer takes a break for the resumption of the Nations League later this month. There is a distinct possibility that Stuttgart could still be winless when the Bundesliga returns at the beginning of October.
Bayern may have failed to win either of their last two league matches, but that is not indicative of any sort of slump. As explained above, Julian Nagelsmann’s men were unlucky not to beat Gladbach in their most recent game at the Allianz Arena, and an away match against Union Berlin is no longer one that Bundesliga teams should expect to win.
With that in mind, we anticipate Bayern returning to winning ways on Saturday. Stuttgart will look to make life difficult for them by sitting deep and packing men behind the ball. This new-look Bayern team does not have a penalty-box specialist like Robert Lewandowski, with the attacking players now preferring to run in behind. Stuttgart will strive to deny them space to do so, but Bayern have enough guile and invention to eventually break the visitors down.
There is certainly room for improvement as far as Bayern’s defensive structure is concerned, but a clean sheet against Inter will have given them a boost. Moreover, the backline is unlikely to be unduly exposed against a Stuttgart team that may struggle to get up the pitch. Back Bayern to keep another clean sheet in this one.
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|Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart
|Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
|Saturday, 10 September 2022, 9.30 AM EST
|How to watch
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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