Bayern head to resurgent Cologne

Bundesliga leaders will probably be again to near full power with first-choice gamers out of Covid isolation


BERLIN:

Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich will probably be again to near full power at resurgent Cologne on Saturday with a number of first-choice gamers now out of Covid isolation.

Bayern’s lead within the desk was trimmed to 6 factors final weekend when a makeshift staff misplaced 2-1 to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund can additional scale back Bayern’s lead earlier than kick-off in Cologne in the event that they beat Freiburg on Friday.

“It will be a difficult game, especially with the form Cologne are in at the moment, they are a team that are physically very strong,” Bayern winger Serge Gnabry stated of Cologne, who’re sixth within the league desk after three straight wins.

Nevertheless, Gnabry expects Bayern to win.

“If we impose our game, we’ll eventually break them down,” he stated.

When the golf equipment met final August, Bayern had been 2-Zero up in Munich just for Cologne to attract stage with targets by Mark Uth and Anthony Modeste earlier than Gnabry grabbed a late winner.

Covid ravaged Bayern’s squad in early January, however solely defender Lucas Hernandez continues to be isolating of the 9 gamers who examined optimistic.

Manuel Neuer will probably be again in purpose whereas wingers Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman, who penned a brand new contract till 2027 on Wednesday, may additionally return.

Cologne final beat Bayern again in 2011, however are solely two factors from the Champions League locations, eight months after narrowly avoiding relegation.

“I hear too much talk about us not having a chance against Bayern,” stated Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart.

“I have a good feeling. We need an excellent performance.”

Cologne striker Uth has scored 5 targets towards Bayern, but has tasted victory towards them simply as soon as, with eight defeats.

“I’d like to score fewer goals and win more often,” he stated.

Portugal left-back Raphael Guerreiro is a doubt for Dortmund at home to Freiburg having barely educated all week after a knock.

Star striker Erling Haaland is reportedly set to disclose his future plans within the coming weeks, with Manchester City and Real Madrid main the race to signal him.

Wolfsburg host Hertha Berlin Saturday with each golf equipment determined to halt their slide in direction of the underside three.

“I don’t care whether we win dirty or beautifully with bells and whistles,” stated Wolfsburg boss Florian Kohfeldt.

They gained their first 4 league video games final August, however Wolfsburg have since misplaced their final six, ramping up the strain on Kohfeldt, who changed Mark van Bommel in October.

Likewise, Tayfun Korkut grew to become Hertha coach after Pal Dardai was sacked in November, however has didn’t stabilise outcomes.

Last Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Cologne got here after Hertha’s spectacular 3-2 home win over Dortmund and a 4-Zero thumping at Mainz earlier than Christmas.

Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski is the Bundesliga’s top-scorer with 20 targets, however Modeste is fourth within the goalscoring charts having netted 12 targets this season, together with 4 in current wins over Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Hertha.

Back in Cologne after an sad move to China, Modeste, 33, is as soon as once more lethal in entrance of purpose, particularly on the top of crosses.

The Frenchman burst into tears after scoring a late winner towards Stuttgart earlier than Christmas on the third anniversary of his father’s loss of life.

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