Bayern Munich will be looking to put last weekend’s disappointment behind them as travel to face Koln in the Bundesliga.
An understrength Bayern were downed 2-1 at home by Borussia Monchengladbach, cutting their lead at the top of the table to six points after Borussia Dortmund’s victory.
Koln will provide a stiff test for Julian Nagelsmann’s side after three straight league wins that have lifted them up to sixth in the Bundesliga.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
When is kick off? Saturday 15 January, 14:30 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? RheinEnergieSTADION
TV channel/live stream? ESPN+ (US), Sportsnet Now (Canada)
Highlights? Bundesliga YouTube channel
Ellyes Skhiri will be absent for Koln as he competes for Tunisia at the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, Jorge Mere and Sebastian Andersson could be available after missing last weekend’s win over Hertha BSC through illness.
Bayern have been dealing with a spate of Covid-19 cases since the turn of the year, although Manuel Neuer, Corentin Tolisso and Omar Richards will return this weekend.
Dayot Upamecano, Leroy Sane, Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman have also returned to training this week, although Leon Goretzka has been ruled out for the next few weeks. Bouna Sarr and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.
You can read Bayern’s predicted lineup for the game here.
Bayern have won 15 out of their last 19 meetings with Koln, scoring 18 goals in their last five games against the Billy Goats.
Bayern were 2-1 victors at the RheinEnergieSTADION last season, while they edged out Koln when the two sides met at the Allianz Arena in August.
Nagelsmann’s side surrendered a two-goal lead after first half strikes from Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, before the latter struck 19 minutes from time to seal a 3-2 triumph for the home side.
It is likely that Nagelsmann will be forced to name a makeshift starting XI this weekend once again with several players missing through Covid-19.
Bayern felt the pinch of those absences in last weekend’s defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach, but their performance merited more than a 2-1 loss.
Nagelsmann will quietly be encouraged, so expect Bayern to return to winning ways this weekend.
Prediction: Koln 0-2 Bayern Munich