Martinez debut uncertain as Bayern face VfB Stuttgart in Southern derby

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 17th Sep, 2012

New EUR40 million man Javi Martinez may have to be content with a place on the bench when Bayern Munich host VfB Stuttgart in the 'Southern Derby' on Sunday at the Allianz Arena.

Coach Jupp Heynckes refused to be drawn on whether or not he is set to hand the record signing his debut, stressing that: "the important thing is for him to get to know the club and start settling in."

Mario Gomez though will definitely miss out on the opportunity to face his former club despite returning to training this week following a knee injury.

Instead Mario Mandzukic should get his first home start in the Bundesliga following an impressive start to life with the Reds. The striker has already scored in the league for the Bavarians, the Croatian bagging the opening goal in last week's 3-0 comfortable away victory over Bundesliga new boys Greuther Fürth.

Another summer transfer hoping to hold on to his place in the side is Swiss signing Xherdan Shaqiri, the midfielder having also impressed in the season opener against the Clover Leaves.

Heynckes is still sweating on the fitness of Franck Ribery as the French winger looks to recover from a bout of the flu that kept him out of the Bundesliga opener.

While an opening day win was an encouraging result for title-contenders Bayern things are very different for the Swabians as they try to bounce back after going down at home 1-0 to Wolfsburg last time out. Stuttgart striker Vedad Ibisevic's 88th minute open goal miss following his tame penalty is an early contender for howler of the season and the striker's misery was compounded just two minutes later as he watched Wolfsburg's new signing Bas Dost score a header to snatch three undeserved points for the away side.

Director of Football Fredi Bobic has backed Ibisevic to recover from the miss but after throwing away the three points a trip to the Allianz Arena is the last thing the Young, Wild Ones need.

Games between the two clubs have been hotly-contested in the past but Bayern fans will be hoping for a repeat of the 2-0 victory when the clubs faced each other at the Allianz Arena last April.

Indeed the trip looks a tough task for Stuttgart who have lost all of their previous six matches against Bayern in all competitions. To get anything at all out of the match the Swabians will have to silence a crowd buoyed by their recent EUR40 million acquisition and Bayern's strong start to the season.

Prediction: Bayern 3 VfB 1

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