Bayern Munich will have a tough task at hand when they host 1. FC Koln at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

1. FC Koln will visit Bayern Munich to claim their stake back when they face each other in the Bundesliga. The Bavarian giants had an underwhelming return to their Bundesliga campaign as they shared a point with RB Leipzig, while Koln hammered Werder Bremen 7-1.

Bayern will try to bounce back to winning ways after their winning juggernaut was halted by a rampant Leipzig. They have already widened the gap at the top to five points. And another win would put them at the pinnacle of their journey.

Bayern’s initial difficulties have been covered up by their recent dominance. And it would take a lot for their opponents to pile some misery on them, despite the underwhelming return to top-flight football after two months.

Koln played a goal feast as they haplessly thrashed Bremen in a ruthless manner. Things fell in place perfectly and they would hope to replicate the same when they travel to Munich to take on the league leaders.

Team News and Tactics

Bayern Munich

As matches are arriving thick and fast, Julian Nagelsmann will have the liberty to ring in some changes. Manuel Neuer’s injury will not allow him to return so quickly. So new arrival Yan Sommer will have another chance to showcase his talent between the sticks.

Daley Blind might have to wait a bit longer to don the Bayern Munich colours as Nagelsmann will prefer the same backline that held RB Leipzig in the last match. Noussair Mazraoui and Lucas Hernandez continue to be on the sidelines.

Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard will join Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano in the backline. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka will be provided with the midfield duties to cope with the pressure of Koln midfielders. Thomas Muller came from the bench for a brief cameo against Leipzig, and he will start just behind the main striker.

Leroy Sane will take up the right flank, while Kingsley Coman will try his trickery from the left-hand side. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will try to add more to his seven goals when he spearheads the Bayern Munich attack against Koln.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Pavard, Upamecano, de Ligt, Davies; Goretzka, Kimmich; Sane, Muller, Coman; Choupo-Moting

1. FC Koln

Koln have an extensive list of players currently being treated in the treatment room. Ellyes Skhiri suffered an ankle injury against Werder Bremen and might have to miss the clash. Luca Kilian, Rijad Smajic, Kristian Pedersen, Jan Thielmann, Dimitrios Limnios, Mark Uth, Sebastian Andersson, Florian Dietz and Maximilian Schmid are currently on the sidelines with various injuries.

Marvin Schwabe will keep his place in the goal. Timo Hubers and Julian Chabot will have the responsibility to cement the floodgates against a competent Bayern attack. Jonas Hector and Benno Schmitz will complete the backline.

Dejan Ljubicic will replace Skhiri in the middle of the pitch, and Eric Martel will be his partner in the crime. Linton Maina and Florian Kainz will run their errands from both flanks, while Denis Huseinbasic will be in the advanced midfield position. Finally, Steffen Tigges will lead the line for Koln against Bayern Munich.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Schwabe; Schmitz, Chabot, Hubers, Chabot, Hector; Martel, Ljubicic; Maina, Huseinbasic, Kainz; Tigges

Key Stats

  • No team has recorded more wins away at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga than 1. FC Koln (9, same as Borussia Dortmund). However, their only victory there since 2000 came in February 2009 (2-1), having failed to win any of their 10 matches since (D3 L7).
  • Bayern Munich are currently five points clear at the top of the table and are guaranteed to end the first half of the season in first place. In 15 of the last 16 seasons in which this has happened, the Bavarians have gone on to win the league. The only exception was in 2011/12, when Dortmund ultimately finished above them
  • Bayern Munich have won each of their last four Bundesliga home games, netting 4+ goals in each of those matches. They will equal the league record by extending this run to five home games. Only Dortmund in 1964/65 and Werder Bremen in 1979/80 have previously managed this feat.
  • Koln have lost each of their last four Bundesliga away games, more defeats than in their 16 previous fixtures on the road combined (3). They have drawn a blank in each of their last three on their travels, and have only ever lost four consecutive top-flight away games without scoring in January/February 2002.
  • Serge Gnabry has been involved in nine goals in his last seven Bundesliga games (6 goals, 3 assists). He has scored more top-flight goals against Koln than against any other side (11), bagging a brace in each of his last two home games against the Billy Goats.

Player to Watch

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

The Cameroon international has been a revelation this season, as he is currently the third-highest scorer for Bayern Munich. The 33-year-old already has scored seven times in the Bundesliga and will try to add more to his tally.

Choupo-Moting’s stupendous campaign has come out of nowhere. And his performances have captured the attention of clubs like Manchester United and Tottenham. But the veteran will be focused on the task at hand, which will be beating Koln in the midweek fixture.

Prediction

Bayern Munich 2-0 FC Koln

Despite the recent thrashing of Werder Bremen, Koln will a different ball game against Bayern Munich, who will be on their own turf. The Bavarians have netted four goals in each of their last four home meetings. And the visitors will be aware of the danger posed by the Bundesliga champions. The Hard Tackle predicts a hard-fought 2-0 win for Julian Nagelsmann’s charges.

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