Cologne vs Bayern Munich
RheinEnergieStadion is the venue as relegation-battling Cologna and reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich go head-to-head in a lopsided contest.
The international break bells rang salvation for Cologne, giving them a fortnight to rally their troops following a woeful four-game winless run in all competitions (D2, L2). Last season’s 11th-place finish now looks so distant, with Steffen Baumgart’s side starting this round two points adrift of safety after only winning once in their first 11 Bundesliga matches (D3, L7). That lone win came on home turf in October, yet barring a 3-1 triumph over Borussia Monchengladbach, they’ve returned just one point from their four remaining home league outings (D1, L3). Moreover, the ‘Billy Goats’ only scored three times across those four games while conceding eight in return. Defensive problems continue to torment Cologne as they’re without a top-flight clean sheet since a goalless draw against Gladbach in April.
If there’s a side capable of taking advantage of every defensive mishap, it’s perennial Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. The ‘Bavarians’ headed into the international break as the only side in Germany’s top flight to have smashed a 40-goal barrier (42). Thomas Tuchel’s high-flyers have enjoyed a near-perfect start to their Bundesliga title defense (W9, D2), scoring a staggering 16 goals across their last three league victories! They’re in a prime position to extend their domestic purple patch, having gone undefeated in 18 consecutive H2Hs (W16, D2). Furthermore, they’ve only dropped points once on five Bundesliga travels this term (W4, D1) while netting a league joint-high 15 goals. Indeed, they’ve banged in 2+ goals in every away league game thus far.