11 September 2014 13:58
Star winger Franck Ribery could make his first Bayern Munich appearance of the season against Stuttgart on Saturday.
Ribery has not played a competitive match for Bayern since their DFB-Pokal win in May, but has recovered from a knee problem.
The 31-year-old missed the World Cup for France with a back injury and promptly retired from international football following the tournament.
His club career is set to go on, though, and Ribery is looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.
“I feel good and I’m fit for Saturday,” Ribery told Bayern’s official website.
“Now I need to get into a rhythm.”
Bayern sit fifth in the embryonic Bundesliga table after they followed a lucky 2-1 win over Wolfsburg with a 1-1 draw at Schalke prior to the international break.
The defending champions have yet to keep a clean sheet in a competitive match in 2014-15 and coach Pep Guardiola will hope that changes at the Allianz Arena this weekend.
Most of Bayern’s players have been busy during the recent international break, but club captain Philipp Lahm enjoyed some rare time off after ending his Germany career following their successful World Cup campaign.
Bayern’s treatment room saw plenty of action during the Bundesliga hiatus, though, as the likes of Arjen Robben (ankle), Xabi Alonso (foot), Mehdi Benatia (sprain) and Pepe Reina (pelvic strain) all worked on their fitness.
The quartet are all expected to be fit, but new Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, fellow midfielder Thiago (both knee) and defender Rafinha (ankle) remain on the sidelines.
Stuttgart – Bundesliga champions in 2007 – have recorded just one top-half finish in their last four seasons.
A 15th-place finish last term saw them just one spot above Hamburg, who had to enter a relegation play-off to ensure their survival.
A promising 1-1 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach in their first match of the season was followed by a 2-0 home defeat to newly promoted Cologne.
Coach Armin Veh is hopeful that new signing Filip Kostic will quickly find his feet after joining from Groningen last month.
The striker – who cost a reported €6million – is yet to score in any of his three club appearances this season.
Bayern have won their last eight Bundesliga matches against Stuttgart, scoring 22 goals in the process.