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

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.

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