Preview: Köln v Bayern

Relegated Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln will be hoping to give their fans some joy in their final home game of the season on Saturday when they host champions FC Bayern München.

Bundesliga
Date: 5 May 2018
Match Day 33
Kick-off: 15H30 local time
Venue: RheinEnergieStadion
Referee: B. Steinhaus
Assistants: C. Gunsch, M. Borsch
Fourth official: C. Bandurski

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Köln 89 21 24 44
Bayern 89 44 24 21

Previous encounter:

Bayern 1-0 Köln 13/12/17 (Bundesliga)

Bayern goalscorers: R. Lewandowski (60′)

Players to watch:

With Sehrou Guirassy on the sidelines, Cologne will be looking to Yuya Osako and Leonardo Bittencourt for inspiration in the final third. Osako has scored six goals and produced three assists this season, while Bittencourt has contributed with six goals and five assists.

Bayern are expected to give striker Sandro Wagner another start, ahead of Robert Lewandowski, as he has made the starting lineup for the last four Bundesliga games. In his last six starts for Die Roten, Wagner has netted six goals and provided two assists.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Billy Goats have already been relegated to the second division this season, as they currently sit rock-bottom of the Bundesliga standings, six points below second-from-bottom Hamburger SV.

Köln have only managed five wins all term and have by far the worst defensive record in the league; conceding 63 goals in 32 games. They come into the Bayern clash on the back of a 3-2 defeat at SC Freiburg. Their final game of the season will be at VfL Wolfsburg.

When asked about the last two fixtures, Köln manager Stefan Ruthenbeck told his press conference: “We are obliged to give it everything we have. Our fans deserve that kind of respect considering how they have treated us recently. They should feel that this team has the will to achieve the outstanding on Saturday.”

On Bayern, he added: “They are always hungry to win. The eleven players on the pitch are going to come at us with everything they have. Jupp Heynckes will make sure of that.”

Meanwhile, Die Roten will be eyeing the fixture as an opportunity to put their UEFA Champions League semi-final defeat to Real Madrid behind them. They lost 4-3 on aggregate after drawing the second leg 2-2 in Spain on Tuesday.

With the Bundesliga title already in the bag, Jupp Heynckes’ charges have one last target to aim for, the DFB-Pokal trophy. They will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the final on May 19 and will be hoping they can build momentum by beating Köln and VfB Stuttgart in their last two league encounters before then.

Reflecting on the Champions League disappointment, Heynckes told his press conference: “I finished my career by winning the Champions League in 2013. We’ve made the turnaround this season, but we’re still very disappointed with the outcome.

“To win the Champions League was close at hand, we would not have to fear a team, it is very disappointing, as an athlete you have to deal with such defeats, you have to learn, that’s normal life not always just sunshine, you have to deal with that and you have to draw your motivation for the rest of the tasks.”

Team news:

Köln will be missing Jorge Mere to suspension while Matthias Lehmann and Sehrou Guirassy are out injured.

Bayern are still without Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Arturo Vidal, Kingsley Coman, and Arjen Robben.

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