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‘We aim to stay top’

Köln lead off pursuit of new leaders

After spending the season so far in the chasing pack, Saturday sees Bayern in the role of prey for the first time. “We’re in a nice position now,” said Louis van Gaal ahead of the trip to face FC Köln (Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio). “But we have to win,” the boss warned. The players clearly don’t need to be told twice. “We want to stay top till the end of the season now,” declared Jörg Butt, “and that means winning in Cologne.”

The going-in position is easily enough defined: on the one hand the nation’s most successful club, undefeated in their last 17 league matches, with the Bundesliga’s highest-scoring forward line and the best record in the league since Christmas. On the other hand the men from Cologne, who may have taken twice as many points since the halfway mark as they did from the reverse fixtures at the start of the campaign, but have not won in four matches, are second-to-last in the goalscoring chart, and lie a disappointing 14th in the standings.

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