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Must-win meeting with Köln

Bayern vow no more slip-ups in league pursuit

Coach Louis van Gaal is unable to field his favoured forward line, but even without Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry, Bayern will deploy a 4-3-3 formation as they go in search of their next Bundesliga victory. “We’ve played better like this recently. If we went back to two strikers, we’d stop developing our new system,” said Van Gaal ahead of Saturday's meeting with FC Köln (Live in English from 3.15 pm on Web Radio).

“It’s a big blow to lose Arjen and Franck. But it’s more important for our long-term goals to keep playing 4-3-3,” continued Van Gaal, who believes his team are “heading in the right direction” after the goalless draw with Juventus in midweek. “We’re lucky in that we have a break for internationals next week.” Ivica Olic and Thomas Müller are set to replace wingers Robben, who underwent surgery in Augsburg on Thursday evening, and Ribéry (knee).