Bayern Munich will look to retain their place at the top of the Bundesliga when they travel to mid-table side 1. FC Köln on Sunday afternoon.
A four-game winning streak for the Bavarians that included a 3-1 away at Mainz was interrupted by a recent goalless draw at the Allianz Arena against title rivals RB Leipzig. Nonetheless, they remain in first place by a single point heading into this game, having not lost since December.
As for Köln, they find themselves six points clear of the relegation zone but have won three of their last four games, including the recent dominant 4-0 win over SC Freiburg.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Sunday 16 February|
|What Time is Kick Off?||14:30 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||RheinEnergieStadion|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 3|
Bayern do not have many injuries to contend with, other than defender Niklas Süle and winger Ivan Perisic who remain out. Midfielder Javi Martinez is back in training having recovered from a torn thigh but this game may come too soon for him to appear. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is battling illness and is a doubt to appear on Sunday, while Joshua Kimmich (illness) and Alphonso Davies (ankle) have recovered from their respective issues and will likely play.
For Köln, manager Markus Gisdol has close to a full-strength side to choose from. Goalkeeper Thomas Kessler is the only confirmed absentee for this game, while midfielder Elvis Rexhbeça (knee) and forward Jan Thielmann (illness) are considered doubts to suit up for the home side.
|Köln||Horn; Ehizibue, Bornauw, Czichos, Katterbach; Skhiri, Hector; Drexler, Uth, Jakobs; Cordoba|
|Bayern Munich||Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Kimmich, Thiago; Müller, Goretzka, Gnabry; Lewandowski|
Head to Head Record
When the two teams met earlier this season, Bayern comfortably won 4-0 with Robert Lewandowski scoring twice, along with goals from Philippe Coutinho and Perisic. Bayern have won nine of the last 10 encounters between these two teams, only conceding four goals in total.
Bayern have been on an impressive run over the last couple of weeks, comfortably defeating Mainz 3-1 before a thrilling 4-3 victory over Hoffenheim in the DFB Pokal. But their momentum was slowed by the goalless draw at home to RB Leipzig, who are just behind them in the table.
Köln, meanwhile, have been one of the in-form teams of the Bundesliga, despite a 5-1 heavy defeat to Borussia Dortmund. Their impressive 4-0 win against SC Freiburg continued a remarkable run of games where they have only lost twice since the start of December.
Here's how both sides have fared in their last five matches.
|Köln 4-0 Freiburg (2/2)||Bayern 0-0 RB Leipzig (9/2)|
|Dortmund 5-1 Köln (24/1)||Bayern 4-3 Hoffenheim (5/2)|
|Köln 3-1 Wolfsburg (18/1)||Mainz 1-3 Bayern (1/2)|
|Köln 1-0 Werder Bremen (21/12)||Bayern 5-0 Schalke (25/1)|
|Frankfurt 2-4 Köln (18/12)||Hertha 0-4 Bayern (19/1)|
Despite the impressive form of Köln coming into this game, it is Bayern Munich who are considered the favourites to win on the road.
The away side have a supremely dominant record against their opponents and have won nine of the last ten fixtures between the two teams. Die Geißböcke have failed to prevent the Bavarians from scoring against them, having conceded four goals in three of the last five games played at the Allianz Arena.
Hans-Dieter Flick's side should comfortably add three points to their league tally in order to retain their lead at the top of the Bundesliga, in order to keep ahead of the chasing pack in Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Prediction: Köln 1-3 Bayern