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Bayern expecting battle under the floodlights

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The contrast could not be greater. While Bayern secured the autumn championship at the weekend, 1. FC Köln are far adrift at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. Yet no one at Säbener Straße is taking the side from the cathedral city lightly ahead of their meeting under the Allianz Arena floodlights on Wednesday (20:30 CET kick-off, live Ticker and Webradio commentary). “We certainly can’t underestimate them, particularly in the current situation after the change of coach,” warned coach Jupp Heynckes, who himself has shown in recent weeks what effect a change in the dugout can have.

Stefan Ruthenbeck is the man who took over from Peter Stöger ten days ago. “He’s already changed a lot. They’re playing with a back three and lots of pressing and high-tempo football,” Heynckes has observed. Last weekend the Billy Goats were heading for their first league win of the season before Freiburg came back to win 4-3. Bayern, who will have Tom Starke in goal again, have been warned. “We’ll approach the game in the same way as the previous one: with a high level of concentration and a good attitude,” stressed Heynckes.

Köln want to "be bold“

Niklas Süle is expecting “a tough game. Köln will be really up for the fight. And we saw at Frankfurt how tough we found it against a side who defended for their lives.” Bayern will have to break down a side who are expected to defend in numbers. “You have to find a way around that.”

“A battle,” announced Ruthenbeck ahead of his side’s trip to Munich. “We can’t stand in front of a big beast like a little mouse. We want to be bold and attack, despite our situation.” However the Köln coach, who will be in charge until at least the winter break, is down to the bare bones. Defender Konstantin Rausch (fatigue) and strikers Sehrou Guirassy (toenail) and Yuya Osako (pneumonia) have recently increased the casualty list to 12 players.