Pep Guardiola‘s FC Bayern Munich will look to put the cue in the rack at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany when they face Dirk Schuster‘s SV Darmstadt 98. Bayern are currently 18-2-1 (56 points) and are eight points ahead of Thomas Tuchel‘s Borussia Dortmund (15-3-3, 48 points). Darmstadt are 6-6-9 (24 points), good for 13th in the league, and can maintain their safety with an upset of the league leaders.
“This is a special team, they defend very deeply,” Guardiola said of Darmstadt to Deutsche Welle. “They are one of the best teams at set pieces, they live for these moments.”
Frenchman Franck Ribery, Mario Gotze and Medhi Benatia will be available for Bayern in this match, joining the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. Ribery, Gotze and Benatia have had match fitness issues but are projected to earn minutes this weekend.
“We’ve seen in the cup how tough it is to play against them,” Guardiola added. “They’re a very special team. They defend very deep, they slow down the match and commit a lot of fouls. They disrupt your rhythm.”
“It’s super to be with the fans and the team again,” said Ribery. “We have to turn in a good display, because it’ll affect our match in Turin [against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League].”
“We’ll field a competitive team who aim to make it as difficult as possible for Bayern,” said Schuster. “It’s an opportunity for other players to prove they’re fit for the Bundesliga and that we were wrong to field them so rarely. We laid down a little marker in the cup, now we want to live up to it.”
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 a.m. PT/9:30 p.m. ET. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for the match between Bayern Munich and Darmstadt 98.
- At least 35 fouls will be whistled.
- Under four cards will be issued.
- Christian Mathenia will make at least five saves for Darmstadt.
- Sandro Wagner will score for Darmstadt.
- Manuel Neuer will make at least four saves for Bayern.
- Robert Lewandowski will score for Bayern.
- Mario Gotze will score for Bayern.
- Thomas Muller will score for Bayern
- No goals will be scored in the first 10 minutes.
- A goal will be scored in the last 20 minutes and stoppage time.
A clinical, professional performance at home is what you can expect from Bayern Munich against Darmstadt 98. This defeat won’t put the Lilies in danger, but they will need to rebound after what looks to be a losing battle. Here are score predictions from the other matches to take place in Week 22 of the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich 3, Darmstadt 98 1
Hamburger SV 4, Eintracht Frankfurt 1
Mainz 05 2, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 0
FC Ingolstadt 04 3, Werder Bremen 2
Borussia Monchengladbach 2, FC Koln 2
Bayer Leverkusen 2, VfL Wolfsburg 1
FC Augsburg 3, Hannover 96 2
Schalke 04 2, VfB Stuttgart 1