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FC Koln vs Bayern Munich: Lineups, team news, a start for Sane, and more! (Update: Lewandowski left home, won’t play)

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Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick says Leroy Sane is ready to play from the beginning. Let's hope that he does.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Atletico Madrid: Group A - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

So many games, so little time. After scraping past Lokomotiv Moscow in midweek, Bayern Munich face their second consecutive away game — against FC Koln in the Bundesliga. The Billy Goats aren’t doing too well at the moment, which gives Hansi Flick an opportunity to rotate. However, even with rotation, injuries and a general lack of fitness is starting to have its effect. Koln meanwhile have managed a streak of two consecutive draws — they’ll be looking to better that record on Saturday.

These two teams have a long and storied history with each other, which you can read about here. Check it out, it’s pretty interesting.

Team news

Hansi Flick has only a couple of serious injuries to worry about — both Tanguy Nianzou (thigh) and Alphonso Davies (ankle) are out for tomorrow’s game. In addition, Corentin Tolisso will serve the second of his two-game suspension against Koln tomorrow, ruling him out. All three of these players would’ve been great to have tomorrow, so their absence is a big blow to the team.

So, for the lineup. Robert Lewandowski shows no signs of slowing down at the moment, so there’s little chance that he will be benched by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting tomorrow. The Polish striker will likely be joined by a full-German contingent in attack — Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, and Serge Gnabry. Flick went as far as to confirm that Sane was ready to start, so expect an appearance from the 24-year-old tomorrow. Kingsley Coman was long overdue for some rest anyway.

What about the midfield? Leon Goretzka was subbed out early against Lokomotiv for muscular issues, but Flick implied that he’s ready to start again. It’s unfortunate that Goretzka has to bear such a heavy workload, but at least he can expect some rest in midweek. Starting alongside him will probably be Joshua Kimmich, who’s a machine as far as fitness is concerned. Marc Roca is also an option, but Hansi implied that the Spaniard still has a way to go before he adjusts to his new team. Koln may not be the right time to give the youngster a start.

The defense is ... hard to predict. Let’s go with Buona Sarr in for Benjamin Pavard at right-back, and an otherwise standard backline with Lucas Hernandez at left-back and David Alaba and Jerome Boateng at center-back. Niklas Sule will probably be rested so that he can be better prepared for the upcoming games against RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund.

So, without further ado, here’s how we think Bayern Munich will line up:


Update

According to Sky’s Torben Hoffman, Joshua Kimmich is doubtful for Koln.

Only on the ergometer and not on the pitch for the final training. Kimmich doubtful against Köln.

This might mean Marc Roca will get his first start in the Bundesliga.


Update #2

Just in case you missed it, Robert Lewandowski has been left in Munich and won’t feature. Full story here.