Bundesliga: Foals host wounded Stuttgart, Mainz look to trouble distracted Bayern | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 29.02.2016
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Bundesliga: Foals host wounded Stuttgart, Mainz look to trouble distracted Bayern

The 24th matchday of the Bundesliga season sees Bayern Munich face an in-form Mainz side before their trip to Borussia Dortmund, while Gladbach face Stuttgart who suffered a recent setback.

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola will have to be at his very best if he hopes to tweak his side just enough as to rest enough stars for Saturday's "Der Klassiker" against Borussia Dortmund, while also fielding a side strong enough to match Mainz.

Wednesday night's opponents at the Allianz Arena have looked every bit as impressive under coach Martin Schmidt as former incarnations of the very same side under Thomas Tuchel and will fancy their chances as Bayern turn one eye to Dortmund on the horizon.

Following injuries to a number of key players this season, Guardiola may be tempted to wrap Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben in cotton wool and keep them safe on the bench with Saturday's game - and a Champions League second leg against Juventus - in the not-so-distant future.

However, Mainz may have other ideas. Only Dortmund and Bayern have taken more points from their last ten Bundesliga matches than the Carnival club and following an exceptional 3-1 win over Champions League hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday night there's every chance that Yunus Malli, Yoshinori Muto & Co. could put a dent in Bayern's preparations for this coming weekend.

Gladbach hoping to end Stuttgart revival

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Borussia Mönchengladbach will be wary of welcoming Stuttgart to Borussia Park on Wednesday.

Following a 2-2 draw with Augsburg on Sunday afternoon, the Foals now find themselves in fourth place and just three points off Hertha Berlin in third. However standing in their way is a formidable foe in Jürgen Kramny's side.

The Swabians had until very recently been racing up the Bundesliga table with an undefeated run of form that had stretched to eight games and taken then from 17th in the table to 11th - and just seven points off a top four spot. Then bottom-placed Hannover came to town and grabbed a truly unexpected 2-1.

Kramny will be far from concerned at just one defeat, but another at the hands of Gladbach on Wednesday could see heads fall and Stuttgart return to the kind of form that had many predicting relegation at the start of the season.

Gladbach have one of the best home records in the Bundesliga this season but Stuttgart have lost just one of their last five games on the road. One of these teams will have to face a bitter blow to their hopes for the remainder of this season on Wednesday, but just which side will it be?

Matchday 24 fixtures:

Gladbach v Stuttgart (Wednesday)

Bayer Leverkusen v Werder Bremen

Bayern Munich v Mainz

Darmstadt v Dortmund

Hertha Berlin v Eintracht Frankfurt

Hoffenheim v Augsburg

Schalke v Hamburg

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