By 90Min
December 12, 2017

Defending champions Bayern Munich will look to maintain their control over the Bundesliga title race when they welcome winless basement dwellers Cologne to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night. 

Here's all you need to know about this top vs bottom encounter.


Recent Form

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Bayern have won twelve of fourteen matches in all competitions since the return of former manager Jupp Heynckes on an interim basis following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. Bayern were three points off leaders Borussia Dortmund when Heynckes made his return, but Bayern's resurgence coupled with Dortmund's own implosion meant that a 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday helped Heynckes' side move eight points clear at the top of the table.

By contrast, Cologne have endured a nightmare start to the season, with three draws and twelve defeats from their fifteen Bundesliga games to date, and Sunday saw them suffer perhaps their most agonising defeat yet. Leading 3-0 at home to Freiburg after half an hour, Cologne found themselves pegged back to 3-2 going into second half stoppage time, where they then proceeded to concede two penalties and hand Freiburg a 4-3 victory. Not the sort of preparation you want for a trip to the league leaders and defending champions.


Classic Encounter


Bayern 4-0 Cologne (Bundesliga - 24th October 2015)

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BAYERN MUNICH-COLOGNE

A 4-0 thrashing of Cologne in October 2015 saw Bayern make history, by becoming the first side ever to win their opening ten matches of the Bundesliga season, recording their 1,000th win in the competition in the process. Arjen Robben, making his first start in seven weeks following a thigh injury, opened the scoring after 35 minutes after the Cologne defence failed to clear one of several Bayern attacks. Five minutes later, Arturo Vidal doubled Bayern's lead, dispatching a Kingsley Coman pull-back from the edge of the area.

Robert Lewandowski headed in what was already his 23rd goal of the season 17 minutes into the second half, before Thomas Mueller sealed the win with a penalty 13 minutes from time. Though Bayern's winning run would end with a goalless draw in Frankfurt a week later, they would go on to win a fourth straight title by ten points, while Cologne would finish ninth, the sort of position they could only dream of in their current predicament.


Team News

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With the likes of Robert Lewandowski, David Alaba, Corentin Tolisso and Mats Hummels all enjoying a break from the starting lineup against Frankfurt on Saturday, following the midweek Champions League win over PSG in midweek. So dauntingly for Cologne fans, they could be set to meet a Bayern side fresh and raring to go again. 

Goalkeeper is the one place the champions won't be at full strength, where a groin injury has seen Sven Ulreich join Manuel Neuer in the treatment room, leaving Tom Starke as Bayern's only available senior goalkeeper.

To add to their problems, Cologne have a sizeable injury list of their own to deal with, with strikers Jhon Cordoba, Simon Zoller, midfielders Marcel Riesse, Marco Hoger and defenders Dominic Maroh and Jonas Hector all long term absentees, while winger Konstantin Rauch is also a doubt having picked up a knock in the defeat to Freiburg.

Predicted Bayern Munich Lineup: Starke; Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Kimmich; Vidal, Tolisso, Rodriguez; Mueller, Lewandowski, Coman

Predicted Cologne Lineup: T.Horn; Olkowski, Heintz, Soerensen, J.Horn; Kluenter, Lehmann, Jojic, Oezcan; Guirassy, Osako


Prediction


In reality, there should only be one winner of this game, and while Football is often a game of shocks and surprises, it is hard to see this particular match being one to create to many shockwaves.

For a Bayern side with a number of fully refreshed stars, this should simply be a case of how many against a Cologne team beleaguered by results and ravaged by injury.

Prediction: Bayern 4-0 Cologne


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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)