Bayern out to set another record at Stuttgart

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BERLIN. (AFP) – Bayern Munich are looking to claim another record at VfB Stuttgart in Sunday’s south German derby with the Bundesliga leaders having leaked just seven league goals so far this season.

Having won their first eight games this season to set a new German league mark, a clean sheet at Stuttgart will give Bayern another Bundesliga record for the least amount of goals conceded after 19 matches.

At the same stage last season, Bayern had leaked almost twice as many goals but the arrival of Brazilian centre-back Dante from Borussia Moenchengladbach has certainly helped tighten up the back four.

The Bavarian giants are on course to break their own record for the fewest number of goals conceded in a single season, having conceded just 21 times in 34 games in the 2007-08 campaign.

Bayern’s Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has yet to be beaten in 2013 after last Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to bottom side Greuther Fuerth and the 5-0 rout of Schalke 04 in their training camp earlier this month.

But with Bayern having started the weekend nine points clear at the top of the table, the goal is to leave Stuttgart with three more points, says Neuer.

“The good thing is that when we keep a clean sheet, it usually means we go on to win, hopefully the run will continue for a while,” said the Germany shot-stopper.

“The problem is we’re only halfway through the season.

“We still have a long way to go yet.

“It can all change very quickly: you sometimes lose a match unluckily due to silly goals, like the home meeting with Leverkusen in (the 2-1 home defeat in) October, for example.”

Having laboured in front of goal against defence-minded Fuerth, Neuer has said Bayern must raise their game against Stuttgart, who have had erratic results recently and came into the weekend in tenth place.

“VfB are totally unpredictable this season,” said Neuer.

“Some of their performances have been very good, others less so.

“We have to take control of the match and mustn’t let ourselves be caught on the hop.

With defending champions Borussia Dortmund having romped to a 3-0 win at home to Nuremberg on Friday and Bayer Leverkusen at Freiburg on Saturday, Neuer says Bayern know they are under pressure to win at Stuttgart.

Bayern have a tough run of games coming up after Stuttgart as they face Mainz, Schalke 04 and Wolfsburg in the coming weeks before England’s Arsenal in the Champions League last 16, first-leg clash in London.

“The next few weeks will tell us a lot about where we’re heading,” said Neuer.

“We have to lay the foundations for the rest of the season, boost our confidence, and keep sending out an unmistakable message to our rivals.”

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