FC Bayern Munchen v 1. FC Koln preview

After an impressive start to the Bundesliga season, Koln face their toughest test of the new campaign when they travel to the Allianz Arena to take on Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Bundesliga

1 October 2016

Kick-off 15:30CEST/13:30GMT

Venue: Allianz Arena

Referee: D. Siebert

Assistants: L. Koslowski, M. Hacker

Fourth official: T. Christ

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Bayern 86 42 23 21

Koln 86 21 23 42

Previous encounter:

Koln 0-1 Bayern 19/03/16 (Bundesliga)

Bayern goalscorer: R. Lewandowski (10′)

Players to watch:

All eyes will be on Bayern’s forward trio against Koln, likely to include Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. When at their fluent best the Bavarians have looked virtually unstoppable this season and they’ve scored five goals or more three times already.

However, they have looked stunted going forward in their last couple of fixtures, culminating in a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in mid-week and head coach Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping for a much improved performance this weekend.

Koln’s impressive early season form has stemmed from a strong defensive base and they have conceded just twice in the Bundesliga so far. Considering the talent available to Bayern and their determination to get back to winning ways, any form positive result for the visitors will rely on their defence once again, led by the impressive Timo Horn in goal.

Team form and manager quotes:

Bayern Munich had a 100% record under Ancelotti until their mishap in Spain on Wednesday. While they have been winning, the consistency of their performances has been somewhat lacking and the Italian has called on his players to show more determination going forward.

“We didn’t play with enough bite and determination,” he told ZDF after the loss to Atletico. “We lost control of the ball too easily and left ourselves open to the counter attack. That was key. We were also too slow in our buildup play.

“We controlled the game but were too slow. Against Atletico you have to be much quicker, more efficient and take your chances.”

As mentioned previously, Koln are flying high this season and, unlike the Bavarians, remain unbeaten in all competitions. With that being said, head coach Peter Stoger will be looking for a better performance from his charges against Bayern and believes he’s learned how to beat the defending champions after watching the match against Atletico.

“You can certainly learn a lot from Atletico, but the question is whether you can put it into practice yourself,” he said.

“The Spaniards deliver the finest art of defending. It’s going to be an incredibly difficult game for us, but we want to try to be successful with our own ideas and our qualities.”

Team news:

Ancelotti revealed Arjen Robben’s recovery from injury is on track and the winger is in line to start against Koln, but midfielder Arturo Vidal remains a doubt

Thomas Kessler remains a long-term absentee for Koln with a knee injury, while Leonardo Bittencourt misses out with a hamstring strain and Dominic Maroh will also sit the match out because of a fractured rib.

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