MX23RW : Friday, November 24 10:01:03| >> :120:57239:57239:
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Bundesliga | Gameweek 12
Nov 24, 2023 at 7.30pm UK
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FC Koln

Preview: FC Koln vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Bundesliga clash between FC Koln and Bayern Munich, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

FC Koln will be aiming to cause a major upset when they host Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Bayern, meanwhile, would move to the top of the table with a victory as league leaders Bayer Leverkusen do not play until Saturday.

Match preview

FC Koln coach Steffen Baumgart on October 31, 2023© Reuters

Despite enduring a difficult start to the season, Koln did at least manage to move off the foot of the table ahead of the international break by securing a 1-1 draw away to VfL Bochum in their last match.

David Selke's second-half strike helped the Billy Goats claim a point after Lukas Daschner had opened the scoring after 25 minutes, with the hosts left frustrated by their failure to win given that they registered 25 shots in total across the course of the encounter.

For Koln, resisting that pressure and avoiding defeat for only the fourth time in 11 league games this season could prove to be a major step towards turning their campaign around. Having enjoyed two decent seasons under Steffen Baumgart's management, the 51-year-old will be desperate to avoid a long battle against relegation this time around.

However, they will be up against it when they host the reigning champions on Friday, with their best chance likely to be catching their opponents cold after a busy international break for the majority of the Bavarians' players.

Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka celebrates scoring their third goal on October 21, 2023© Reuters

Indeed, having put together five consecutive wins in the Bundesliga, Thomas Tuchel would not have particularly enjoyed the timing of the final international break of 2023.

Bayern survived a scare against Heidenheim in their last match, though, with the newlypromoted side fighting back from two goals down to draw level with only 20 minutes remaining at the Allianz Arena. However, substitutes Raphael Guerreiro and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting both made crucial impacts by scoring from the bench.

Despite their impressive winning streak, Bayern have been unable to leapfrog league leaders Leverkusen, whose only dropped points came in a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena in September. With five league games to come in Germany until the winter break, Tuchel will hope that situation can change before Christmas.

However, as last season's title slugfest with Borussia Dortmund illustrated, Bayern's experience, talent and winning culture makes them a force to be reckoned with in any scenario. They are on course to win all six group games in the Champions League for the third successive season, although their shock defeat to Saarbrucken in the DFB-Pokal will remain a blot on their copybook.

That said, Tuchel will primarily be judged by how close he can take the Bavarians to their 34rd Bundesliga and seventh European Cup triumphs, with their quest in the former competition set to be boosted if they can pile the misery on struggling Koln on Friday.

FC Koln Bundesliga form:

FC Koln form (all competitions):

Bayern Munich Bundesliga form:

Bayern Munich form (all competitions):

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Team News

Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala receives medical attention after sustaining an injury on November 8, 2023© Reuters

Koln wlll remain without Philipp Pentke and Jacob Christensen due to injury, while Mark Uth was withdrawn against Bochum due to a muscle strain and is unlikely to feature until early December.

Damion Downs and Dejan Ljubicic should recover from illness and a knock respectively, with Ljubicic likely to take Uth's spot in the hosts' attacking-midfield role. Denis Huseinbasic, Jan Thielmann and Mathias Olesen all provide decent options to come into the side should Baumgart seek to bolster his midfield unit.

Bayern, meanwhile, will travel without Jamal Musiala, Matthijs De Ligt, Tarek Buchmann and Gabriel Marusic due to injury. Musiala is suffering with a hamstring issue at the moment, while De Ligt's serious knee injury could keep him out until the New Year.

With several of his players involved on international duty earlier this week, Tuchel will be keen to have his players assessed more rigorously than ever given the short turnaround between fixtures. However, with their progress to the knockout stages already secured, he is more likely to rest players against Copenhagen in the Champions League next week.

England striker Harry Kane was only involved for around 30 minutes against Montenegro on Monday, while Kingsley Coman came off the bench for France against Greece on Tuesday, so both players should be fine to start in Cologne.

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Schwabe; Carstensen, Hubers, Chabot, Heintz; Martel, Huseinbasic; Thielmann, Ljubicic, Kainz; Selke

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Mazraoui, Upamecano, Kim, Davies; Goretzka, Kimmich; Sane, Muller, Coman; Kane

SM words green background

We say: FC Koln 0-2 Bayern Munich

This match pits second-bottom against second in the table, and the worst performing defence against the strongest defensive record in the Bundesliga so far this season. Although the close timing of this fixture to the international break may favour the hosts, we can not see beyond an away victory.

Bayern will sense that they have a serious fight on their hands to oust Leverkusen at the top of the table in the coming weeks, meaning that they will not want to throw away an opportunity to move above them before Xabi Alonso's side play on Saturday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 3.5:data

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Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso before the match on October 21, 2023
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
1Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen11101034102431
2Bayern MunichBayern119204293329
4RB Leipzig1172228101823
5Borussia DortmundDortmund116322117421
7Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt114611711618
9Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach113442323013
12Werder Bremen113261822-411
14VfL BochumVfL Bochum111641125-149
15SV Darmstadt 98112271432-188
16Mainz 05Mainz111461124-137
17FC Koln11137923-146
18Union BerlinUnion Berlin112091126-156

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