Professionals | 20/09/2019

Matchday 5

Preview ahead of the trip to Munich

It’s time for a trip to the Champions. On Saturday afternoon, 1. FC Köln face off against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. FC have traditionally been a tough opponent for Bayern, and will hope that can continue at the weekend.

Form check

Bayern Munich: Despite two draws in their opening four games, Bayern Munich have started the season reasonably well. They certainly haven’t been short of goals, with Robert Lewandowski already leading the way with seven. Bayern also got off to the perfect start in the Champions League, with a dominant 3:0 win over Red Star Belgrade. Niko Kovac will be keen to keep that up against FC at the weekend.

1. FC Köln: After being buoyed by the win over Freiburg, FC came back down to earth with a derby defeat against Gladbach. A difficult start that has featured four of the top six in the first five games has seen Achim Beierlorzer’s men come away with plenty of plaudits, but just three points. However, given that FC have been brave and bold against the big teams, there is no reason to believe that it won’t continue on Saturday.

The managers have had their say

Niko Kovac: At the weekend, we have a game against a team that play 4-4-2. We’ve had to play against that already this season. The team are in good form and are at a top level physically. We really want to win this game, it is important for us to do so.

Achim Beierlorzer: It is difficult to find the right balance against Bayern. We'll, once again, work intensively on the tactical side of things. If it's about damage limitation, I'm the wrong man to speak to. That's not my thing. Naturally it will be a challenge. We want to get something from the game.

Squad update

Bayern Munich: David Alaba and Leon Goretzka will both be absent for FC’s visit to the Allianz Arena on Saturday. As to whether Niko Kovac makes further changes to the line-up, which remains to be seen. Lucas Hernandez (ankle) and Kingsley Coman (neck) will be evulated in the run up to the game. Joshua Kimmich should be fit after twisting his ankle against Red Star Belgrade.

1. FC Köln: After a week of training with almost a complete squad, Achim Beierlorzer announced that Birger Verstraete had to undergo a small knee operation on Thursday. He is joined on the injury list be long-term absentees, Ismail Jakobs and Christian Clemens. Otherwise, all players are available.

Opposition dangerman

Aside from Vedad Ibisevic, no active Bundesliga striker has scored more goals (9) than Robert Lewandowski against FC. The Polish forward is already top scorer in the Bundesliga this season and will be looking to add to his tally at the weekend. Strong, fast and able to finish in the most and least orthodox manner, the 31-year-old needs no introduction to fans of German football.

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Total table
131. FSV Mainz 0537
141. FC Köln36
15FC Augsburg36