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Martínez back on the training ground

Six and a half months after rupturing a cruciate ligament, Javi Martínez has returned to the practice ground. After a lengthy sports rehab programme confined to the club’s performance centre the 26-year-old went for a gentle jog with the turf beneath his feet again on Thursday, visibly enjoying his run in the sun. Martínez sustained the serious injury in mid-August last year in the Supercup meeting with Dortmund.

Fine streak against newcomers

FC Bayern’s meeting with FC Köln on Friday evening is the second game in a row pitting the Bundesliga leaders against a promoted club, and that is definitely a good omen for Munich, as FCB have won their last 20 straight encounters with top flight newcomers. By contrast, FC Köln have met Bayern 20 times in the last 31 years with the Reds leading the standings and won just once, a 4-0 success in October 1990.

Home strength v away ambitions

FC Bayern’s home record in the Bundesliga this season reads ten wins and just one draw. Only Wolfsburg have taken a single point more on their home field, although the Wolves have also played one home game more. However, Friday’s visitors Köln are away specialists, as the Billy Goats have posted five of their six wins and have also scored 15 of their 20 goals this term on the road. Only FC Bayern have a better away record.

Beware the Billy Goats

In the 83 Bundesliga meetings with Köln to date, Munich have won 38, drawn 22, and lost 23, with 159 goals for and 114 against. However, Köln are second only to Werder Bremen (26 wins against FCB) in terms of victories against Bayern. Even in Munich, the Billy Goats have managed to lose fewer than half their matches: Bayern have won 19 to Köln’s nine, with 13 draws.

Siebert in charge

Daniel Siebert will referee the Bundesliga meeting between FC Bayern and FC Köln. The 30-year-old student teacher from Berlin takes charge of a league match involving FCB for the third time: he whistled the 2-0 victory in Braunschweig a year ago and the 4-0 success against Hannover last October. His assistants on Friday evening are Harm Osmers and Jan Seidel, with Thorsten Schriever as the fourth official.