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Top clash with Köln

Ancelotti's recipe: reaction, rotation and Robben

The new turf is ready for the Bundesliga top clash between FC Bayern and Köln on Saturday at 15.30. "We're an attacking team, we need a good turf which speeds up the pace. This will be the case again from now on," commented Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, delighted at the Allianz Arena's new pitch. Carlo Ancelotti is glad too: "A good pitch is crucial for good football." Bayern aim to turn in a convincing display to continue their Bundesliga streak on Saturday, especially in light of the Champions Leaue defeat in Madrid.

"We didn't play well, not the way we had planned," commented Ancelotti. "But sometimes defeats help you improve. We're not the only ones who struggled at the Calderón. We have to stay calm and continue with confidence. We're a strong team, in the Bundesliga as well as in Europe, and we have to prove it in every single match."

Two challenges for FCB

This holds true against high-flyers Köln in particular. The side lying third in the table have yet to be beaten in the current Bundesliga campaign, having won three and drawn two matches. "We're in for a tough game," explained Ancelotti: "Köln sprang a surprise this term. They're well-organised, they have quick players up front." The Italian cautioned against Anthony Modeste in particular, who boasts four league goals this term. "I know him from my time in France. He's very dangerous."

But Köln are not the only challenge for the Bavarians on Saturday. Their own bodies might cause problems too after a long phase of midweek matches and the CL cracker against Atético on Wednesday. "We don't have much time for regeneration. We have to rotate to play with high intensity," said Ancelotti.

Robben starts

On a positive note, the injury roster has not grown since the match in Madrid. Thiago took minor knocks, "but he exercised today. Everything's fine regarding the rest of the players," reported the FCB head coach, revealing one of the pros who will feature in the starting line-up against the Rhineland side: Arjen Robben. "His condition is getting better and better. I think he'll be able to start tomorrow." The Dutch ace is fired up: "It's a very important match for us. We have to show a reaction and be alert from the very first minute."

However, the top clash on the new turf is not the only thing that awaits Ancelotti this weekend, as Rummenigge mentioned with a grin. "Our coach is in for a double challenge," Köln on Saturday and the traditional Oktoberfest visit on Sunday. "Being a wine connoisseur, he has to stand the test in a beer tent too," according to the FCB chairman. Ancelotti replied: "If we take three points against Köln I'll drink three beers, perhaps even four."

Pre-match news from FC Köln:

Coach Peter Stöger: "It's going to be difficult. Especially in home games Bayern have an exceptional way of playing football, they're very dominant. The individual quality of their players is special. They've got everything a world-class team needs. We have to try it with the options that we have, with our idea of playing and with our qualities. We're in a good phase and want to display our confidence."

Unavailable: Leonardo Bittencourt (thigh injury), Dominic Maroh (broken ribs)