Bayern Munich find themselves in the unfamiliar position of seeking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat, but the potential return of Arjen Robben will boost their spirits against Cologne on Saturday.
A 12-match winning run in all competitions came to a grinding halt on Tuesday as Bayern slipped to a 2-0 loss at Arsenal in the Champions League, a costly error from the usually brilliant Manuel Neuer allowing Olivier Giroud to open the scoring before Mesut Ozil completed Arsenal’s win.
Bayern – who have won the league title three years in succession – now return to domestic action, in which they have been typically dominant this season. A 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen last weekend saw them set a new Bundesliga record of nine wins from their opening nine matches.
Head coach Pep Guardiola may also have the added option of selecting star winger Robben, who has not played a competitive fixture since September 3 when he injured his groin on international duty with Netherlands.
However, the former Real Madrid star is hoping to be involved at the Allianz Arena.
“I feel very good. I trained with the amateur team,” Robben, who was on target in a 4-1 win the last time the teams met in February, told Kicker.
“It looks good for Saturday. If things continue like that, I will return on Saturday.”
Cologne are sixth in the Bundesliga, having taken a respectable 14 points from nine matches.
Peter Stoger’s men head to Munich on the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to struggling Hannover, which came in controversial circumstances.
Hannover started the game in the relegation zone but Leon Andreasen’s 38th-minute goal earned them the points, only for replays to show he had used his hand to score.
Striker Philipp Hosiner admits the squad are still hurting from the contentious defeat, but feels Arsenal’s victory over Bayern has given the team hope of rebounding by pulling off an unlikely upset.
“All in all it was a very unfortunate defeat [against Hannover], so I suppose you think about it some more than other defeats we have suffered,” he told Cologne’s official website.
On the Bayern game, he added: “Arsenal showed yesterday [Tuesday] how it can be done, but there is no recipe that works with 100 per cent effectiveness against Bayern.
“We want to get something out of this match and I do think it is possible. If we have a good day and Bayern are a bit out of their rhythm following their recent loss, something could be possible.”