Bayern Munich v Cologne Preview: Hansi optimistic of success as the table tightens

The calming influence of Thomas Muller should revive the ailing form of Bayern Munich in the league. Or so manager Hansi Flick hopes it will.

Speaking in his final press conference before Bayern’s game at home to Cologne on Saturday afternoon Flick confirmed Muller would be involved but said decisions hadn’t been made on whether the Bayern Legend starts the match.

Muller has missed the last two league games having to isolate after submitting a positive covid test.

“Thomas creates a certain type of atmosphere within the team. He embodies a lot of things you need in a football team, the attitude he has but also a certain type of relaxedness.”

Bayern go into the match against Cologne having dropped five of the last six points on offer with a draw versus relegation strugglers Arminia Bielefeld and loss to inform Frankfurt.

The results have seen Bayern’s lead at the top of Bundesliga go from ten points before they left for Qatar for the World Club Championships to just two points two games into their return.

Along with the games against Arminia and Frankfurt was an impressive 4-1 away win to Lazio.

Bayern’s form in the Champions League as been imperious – six wins and a draw. Whilst in the league they have already lost two matches this year.

Bayern won the reverse fixture on matchday six, 2-1.

Cologne are languishing in 14th in the league and fighting for their survival. The Billy Goats have picked up just one point out of the last 33 on offer against Bayern.

The game on Saturday is historic for a number of reasons. Not only is it the 100th time Bayern and Cologne have met, Saturday will also be Bayern Munich’s birthday with the club turning 121 years old.

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Relaxed Flick

Coach Hansi Flick displayed a relaxed and composed manner in his pre-match press conference.

When asked about the closing gap in the table and whether Leipzig could be the team to end Bayern’s 8IAR dominance, Hansi said there was a long way to go but remains confident.

The Bayern boss said: “We found out first hand how fast things can change. We have to make sure we remain concentrated and confident.

“Against Bielefeld and Frankfurt we dropped points but the mentality of the team and the way we trained and the way the team motivates itself is absolutely outstanding.

“The team have the attitude to be successful. I am very optimistic in that regard.”

On Thomas Muller’s return, Hansi waxed lyrical about his record-breaking forward who is 5th in Bayern’s all-time appearance list having played 566 times for the club.

On Muller, Flick said: “Thomas is an extraordinary player not only on the pitch but next to the pitch he is also just as active. He creates a certain type of atmosphere within the team. He embodies a lot of things you need in a football team, the attitude he has but also a certain type of relaxedness.

“He will definitely be part of the squad but I do not know if he will start.”

Jamal Musiala becomes Bayern’s youngest ever goalscorer in the Champions League and chooses to represent Germany instead of England at national level.

Musiala became Bayern’s youngest ever goalscorer against Lazio on Tuesday at the age of 17 and 364 days

Jamal Musiala made history against Lazio on Tuesday night becoming Bayern’s youngest ever goalscorer with a stunning finish from 20 yards to put Bayern two up in the eternal city.

Musiala, who turns 18 today, has been at the centre of a tug of war between Germany and England representing the Three Lions at U15, U16, U17 and U21 level.

Born in Stuttgart but growing up in New Malden London, the German National team have won one over the auld enemy in getting Musiala, who is showing real promise at becoming one of the best attackers in world football.

Musiala said of the decision that he has a heart for Germany and England and “both hearts will continue to beat”, but he chose to play for Germany.

Flick was asked about the young forward’s decision and admitted he was bias in his opinion – being a German national who used to work for the German national set-up.

Flick said of Musiala’s decision: “Jamel told me it was his choice. It is good for German football. If he is involved to play we will accept that and we have a lot of Germans in the national team so I do not think that will be a problem.”

Bayern Munich vs Cologne, Bundesliga Matchday 23, Saturday 27th, KO 14:30 GMT.

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