MX23RW : Sunday, September 22 11:17:40| >> :600:243534:243534:
Sep 21, 2019 at 2.30pm UK at ​Allianz Arena (München)
BayernBayern Munich
FC Koln
Lewandowski (3', 48'), Coutinho (62' pen.), Perisic (73')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Ehizibue (59')

Preview: Bayern Munich vs. FC Koln - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Koln.

Following the return of the Champions League in midweek, Bayern Munich return to Bundesliga action against lowly FC Koln at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Pitting the team in fourth against the side fourth-from-bottom, this match-up is a rare one for Bayern given that their opponents are one of the few clubs against whom they have won less than half of the fixtures they have played against them.

The marvellously-nicknamed Billy Goats are not to be underestimated, having won their fourth 2.Bundesliga crown with two games to spare last season.

Match preview

Robert Lewandowski celebrates his hat-trick for Bayern Munich on August 24, 2019© Reuters

Despite their overall record against these opponents being a little unconvincing, Bayern have won eight of their last nine Bundesliga matches against Koln - and another one could see them return to the top of the table.

Niko Kovac's squad are currently two points behind early leaders RB Leipzig, having won two and drawn two of their opening fixtures.

One of those draws came last week at Leipzig, when Bayern made an electric start to the match and opened the scoring through Robert Lewandowski, whose third-minute goal was cancelled out by an Emil Forsberg penalty.

They had no such problems at home to Red Star Belgrade in their first Champions League match of the season, cruising to a 3-0 win with the help of goals by Lewandowski and Thomas Muller after the 79th minute, having taken the lead in the first half through Kingsley Coman.

Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac pictured on September 14, 2019© Reuters

Koln arrive as sizeable underdogs following a season away from the Bundesliga, losing three of their first four matches, although coach Achim Beierlorzer will have been encouraged by the manner of their performance last week.

Beierlorzer's side lost by the only goal of the game at home to fierce rivals Borussia Monchengladbach, leaving the Rhineland derby pointless following a brave performance against opponents who moved up to fifth in the table.

Three points from their first four games gives Koln as many points as they had after 16 matches in 2017-18, the season they were relegated.

They perhaps have more than most to fear from striker Lewandowski, who has scored nine times in 11 league meetings against them.

Bayern form: WDWWDW
Cologne form: DLLWL

Team News

Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka celebrates scoring their second goal with Niklas Sule and team mates on May 4, 2019© Reuters

Midfielder Leon Goretzka missed all three of Bayern's opening Bundesliga matches, and the damage deteriorated during a training session while he was away with Germany during the international break.

The 24-year-old exacerbated the problem and has not been available since, sustaining what was described as a mild hemorrhage by Germany coach Joachim Low.

Left-back David Alaba was preparing to turn out against Leipzig when he suffered an abductor tear which is expected to keep the Austrian out for several weeks.

Alaba was replaced by Lucas Hernandez against Red Star, although some commentators in Germany are calling for Canada winger Alphonso Davies to stand in for the 27-year-old against Koln.

Hitman Lewandowski is aiming to become the first Bayern player since Carsten Jancker in the 2000-01 campaign to find the target in each of the first five games of a Bundesliga season, and Germany winger Serge Gnabry has scored four goals in three league appearances against Cologne.

Cologne have few injury concerns as they look to upset the odds, although Belgian midfielder Birger Verstraete has been ruled out for three weeks with a meniscus injury.

Versatile former Schalke player Marco Hoger is expected to return to the side in the Belgian's absence, while winger Christian Clemens is out for the foreseeable future with a ruptured cruciate ligament.

Up front, Colombian winger Jhon Cordoba has scored in two of his three Bundesliga matches against Bayern, although a less likely attacking threat - defensive midfielder Ellyes Skhiri – has been involved in three of Cologne's four goals so far this season.

Bayern possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Boateng, Hernandez; Kimmich, Thiago; Gnabry, Coutinho, Coman; Lewandowski

Koln possible starting lineup:
Horn; Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Hector; Schaub, Skhiri, Hoger, Drexler; Cordoba, Modeste

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We say: Bayern 2-0 Koln

Unbeaten in 16 at home and with 19 goals in their last five matches at the Allianz Arena, Bayern should have few problems in extending that record against these visitors to nine out of 10.

Koln's problem is scoring goals, although their 2-1 win against Freiburg in their previous away match showed their potential to spring a surprise.

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Who will win Saturday's Bundesliga clash between Bayern Munich and FC Koln?

Bayern Munich
FC Koln
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David Alaba in action for Bayern Munich in pre-season on August 7, 2018
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