Created on 15-02-2020 at 16:20 PM
With a promoted side hosting the record champions, FC Bayern’s Bundesliga match away at 1. FC Köln on Sunday appears a foregone conclusion (kick-off at 3.30pm CET, with live text commentary available on fcbayern.com). However, the Billy Goats have proven stubborn on their own patch with four wins in a row. Conversely, Hansi Flick’s side head to Cologne with three consecutive away wins in their bags and plenty of respect for the opposition. “They’re a team who can really hurt us,” the FCB coach warned.
Bayern continue to top the Bundesliga table after last week’s 0-0 draw with RB Leipzig. “We’ve got good momentum, and you can feel that in training. That’s why I’m positive going into the game against Köln,” said Flick at his pre-match press conference on Friday. The Reds now want to maintain that feeling to continue “marching on”, as Thomas Müller put it, in the battle to come out on top at the end of the season. “If we do our job, no one can stop us,” the 30-year-old added.
Köln are 13th in the table but very much on an upward trend. They were bottom after Matchday 14 before five wins from their last six games put a buffer between themselves and the relegation zone. As such, Markus Gisdol’s side are full of confidence ahead of their meeting with the league leaders. “It’s important we play sensible football, even if the opposition appear superior. We want to be brave on Sunday,” said the Köln coach.
Check out the key statements from Hansi Flick’s pre-match press conference:
Manuel Neuer and Joshua Kimmich were both suffering with gastroenteritis during the week, but have been declared fit and ready for the game in Cologne. Alphonso Davies also had to cut short training on Wednesday because of an ankle problem, but he, too, is fit to play. As is David Alaba, who missed out on Friday’s session because of a muscle problem. “He should be back,” Flick confirmed. It means there are no new absentees for the coach against his former club apart from Javi Martinez and Niklas Süle (both in recovery training), as well as Ivan Perisic, who’s out with an ankle fracture.
View from the dugout
Hansi Flick: “Köln have been doing very well and won a lot of points since Markus Gisdol took over. The way they defend is very brave. They sometimes put the opposition under pressure very high up the pitch and know how quickly they can break when they win the ball back. They’re a team who can really hurt us if we’re slack. They’re things we don’t want to show if possible.”
Markus Gisdol (1. FC Köln): “I’ve had a lot of tight games with my teams against Bayern. We were often close to getting something. That shows me that something is always possible against such opponents. We’re looking forward to the game but also know it’ll be a really tough task.”
Bayern enjoy their visits to Cologne, winning 12 of their last 14 matches away at the Billy Goats, including each of the last five.
Read about more facts on the Köln game here: