Stuttgart face a daunting trip to the Allianz Arena to face Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Sunday with their survival hanging in the balance.
The hosts suffered defeat in their first game since confirming the title last time out, whilst the visitors extended their winless run to leave them in real danger of the drop.
After sealing a 10th successive Bundesliga crown in the perfect style, with victory in Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund a week earlier, Bayern’s party was spoiled when they visited Mainz 05 last weekend.
The Bavarians were well off the pace and were completely outclassed by their out-of-form opponents, despite Robert Lewandowski finding the back of the net for the 34th time in the league this season.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side struggled to cope with the intensity and the counter-attacks of their hosts, and Bayern came away perhaps fortunate that the scoreline remained as low as 3-1.
The former RB Leipzig boss will be looking for a response from his players in their final home game of the campaign on Sunday, despite the hosts having nothing left to play for on paper.
Although Bayern have already suffered more defeats than in each of their last six title wins – five – they will be out to ensure that tally is not extended at the Allianz Arena, and will instead be looking to edge towards another 100-goal season, with 93 their current tally heading into matchday 33.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart will not be chasing records or monumental goal tallies when they take to the field on Sunday.
The visitors are fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the Bundesliga table and find themselves in the relegation playoff spot of 16th at the time of writing.
Just two points separate Die Roten from Arminia Bielefeld in the automatic drop zone prior to a ball being kicked on matchday 33, and with Die Arminen travelling to VfL Bochum on Friday evening, Stuttgart’s situation could be a lot more desperate come kick off at the Allianz Arena.
After previously lifting themselves away from immediate danger thanks to an impressive return of seven points from a possible nine at the beginning of March, Sunday’s visitors find themselves on a run of five games without a win as things stand.
Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side have also found the back of the net on just two occasions across the winless streak, with goals drying up at the worst possible stage of the season to leave them in real danger of dropping out of the top flight.
A tough home fixture against top-four hopefuls FC Koln awaits on the final day next weekend too, so despite being just four points behind Hertha Berlin in outright safety in 15th, it looks to be a tough ask for Stuttgart to hope for anything other than a relegation playoff tie at best.
Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:
Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
Stuttgart Bundesliga form:
We say: Bayern Munich 4-1 Stuttgart
After seeing their title party spoiled in a below-par display last time out, it is expected that Bayern will bounce back in style in front of their own supporters for the final time this season on Sunday.
Stuttgart must come out and try and earn a result in their desperate bid to survive, which could lead to a thumping defeat if their hosts return to their best form in front of goal as expected.