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Away game at Köln

Bayern want to keep up the tension

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As tough as it was to take, Jupp Heynckes and his players have come to terms with their midweek Champions League semi-final exit. Now their focus is on Saturday’s away game at 1. FC Köln (15:30 CEST, live Ticker and Webradio commentary) and maintaining their momentum for the DFB Cup final on 19 May. “You have to process it and take motivation from it for the remaining fixtures,” said Jupp Heynckes in Friday’s press conference ahead of the final away match of the season.

The team have accepted the reality now and are fully focused on the final three games. Although Köln’s relegation has been confirmed and Bayern have already been crowned champions, Heynckes refuses to accept that the match is of little significance: “It’s about getting three points, continuing our run and maintaining the tension, particularly with a view to the cup final,” stressed the 72 year-old.

Jupp Heynckes
“It’s about getting three points, continuing our run and maintaining the tension, particularly with a view to the cup final.”

Heynckes expressed his sadness that the Bundesliga will be without one of its most historic clubs next season and hopes that the Billy Goats “return to the top flight as soon as possible”. He’s going into the final Bundesliga away game of his career with excitement rather than sorrow, though, and is looking forward to the experience of appearing at the RheinEnergieStadion one last time. However, the priority is “winning the game and not just enjoying the atmosphere in the stadium,” emphasised the Bayern coach, who will again be without Jérôme Boateng, Kingsley Coman, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer.

Last home game for Köln coach Ruthenbeck

For the opposition, it’s also a time of change following their relegation. Claudio Pizarro, Sven Müller and Dominic Maroh will say goodbye before the match and it’s also the last home game for coach Stefan Ruthenbeck, who will leave at the end of the season. The 46 year-old has called on his players to put everything on the line on Saturday and give the fans the feeling “that the team is determined to achieve something extraordinary”.  

Ruthenbeck is expecting a “fired-up” Bayern side who won’t hold back despite the title already being in the bag: “Jupp Heynckes will make sure of that,” he added. On the injury front, captain Matthias Lehmann (elbow) remains sidelined while Leonardo Bittencourt could miss out due to a knee problem.