Initial reactions and observations
- To use Kovac’s words, Bayern Munich played at 100kph. It was a lax performance for the team, clearly meant to save energy for the upcoming games.
- Niklas Sule was solid at the back — a good game for the big German.
- Leroy Sane was rather disappointing — his first touch was heavy, he didn’t dribble or pass crisply enough, and his defensive contribution was lacking. Let’s hope he picks it up in later games or things could get ugly.
- Bayern’s attack looked rather feeble without Lewandowski. Suppose that’s to be expected when benching the best striker in the world.
- Overall, a boring game with few highlights. We move on to Salzburg.
Full time: Bayern win 2-1.
90’ — Four minutes of added time! Game is poised at 2-1.
81’ — VAR review gives Koln a goal that was initially ruled offside. Oh dear.
77’ — We’re close to the end of the game, and neither team is doing much. Meanwhile, Alaba comes on for Martinez.
63’ — Substitution: Zirkzee and Costa come in for Choupo-Moting and Sane.
45’ — The second half kicks off! Bayern lead 2-0, now it’s all about seeing this game through.
45’ + 1 — GOAL! Serge Gnabry dribbles inside and scores! Robben-esque. And it’s half time.
12’ — GOAL! Bayern break the deadlock courtesy of a penalty by Thomas Muller.
Kickoff — We’re underway! Can Bayern win without Lewandowski? Let’s find out.
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! As expected, Bayern have gone for heavy rotation, with Robert Lewandowski replaced by Choupo-Moting.
Unsere Aufstellung @fckoeln #KOEFCB #Bundesliga pic.twitter.com/gyBV71T9PU— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) October 31, 2020
MATCHDAY! Facing a team from the relegation spots should never be a tough task for a team like Bayern Munich, but we live in extraordinary times. The Bavarians are reeling from insane fixture congestion, leading to fatigue and injuries gripping the squad. A game against Koln away, usually not a big deal, suddenly becomes a much tougher task in this situation.
The big news is that Joshua Kimmich is doubtful for the game. If he doesn’t play, then Hansi Flick becomes severely limited in his midfield options. Players like Marc Roca or Javi Martinez could get a shot at starting alongside Leon Goretzka, who’s been excellent so far this season. Meanwhile, Leroy Sane is set to make his first start since returning from injury, hopefully alongside Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Serge Gnabry up top. [Note, we wrote this before Lewy was confirmed to be out of the game.]
It’s Bayern time.
Location: RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne, Germany
Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
TV/streaming: ESPN+, Find Your Country
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