Saturday, June 3, 2023

Prediction: FC Koln vs Bayern Munich

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 26 May 2023


Verdict: Away win by two goals

Best odds: 7/2

Bookmaker: BetUS

The title race in the Bundesliga has come down to the wire, and its winner will be decided on Saturday afternoon, when the final round is to be played. And while Borussia Dortmund need to beat Mainz 05 at home to snatch the title away from Bayern for the first time in 11 years, Bayern will have to hope for Dortmund’s failure on that front and beat FC Koln at the RheinEnergieStadion.

FC Koln

The feeling that comes with being in this position in a match like this must be frustrating from Koln’s point of view. Sitting 10th with 42 points, Steffen Baumgart’s team aren’t going anywhere; neither up, nor down. It obviously means that their need for points in this game is almost non-existent, and the only aspect providing any kind of motivation, apart from the obligation to do their best as professionals, is the idea of testing themselves against a club that has dominated the game in Germany for a decade. Beating Bayern Munich is no small feat for any team in the world.

Koln managed to achieve this level of comfort through a very respectable run of form. They only lost one of their six most recent matches, drawing two and winning three. It started with a 1-1 draw at home against Dortmund’s opponents on Saturday, Mainz. Then came a 1-3 away win over Hoffenheim, a 0-1 home loss to SC Freiburg, a 1-2 win away to Bayer Leverkusen, and a 5-2 home win over Hertha Berlin, finishing with a 1-1 draw against Werder in Bremen.

Team News

At the age of only 32, Koln captain Jonas Hector will retire at the end of the season, which means this match is not only the last of the Bundesliga campaign for him, but the last of his career as a professional football player. Hitting the number 347 in the Koln shirt to end a great chapter of his life, the experienced left-back will surely be emotional when the final whistle rings around the stadium.

Meanwhile, Baumgart will have to work around several injury issues upfront; strikers Steffen Tigges, Mark Uth and Florian Deitz are unavailable.

With Marvin Schwabe between the posts, the back four should consist of centre-backs Timo Hubers and Julian Chabot flanked by Hector and Benno Schmitz. Ellyes Skhiri and Eric Martel are expected to pair up in the middle of the park, while Dejan Ljubicic pushes further up to join wingers Florian Kainz and Linton Maina in supporting striker Davie Selke.

Bayern Munich

The season has been very turbulent for Bayern Munich. Things weren’t going quite as planned from the start and following a particularly troubling period, they sacked Julian Nagelsmann from the position of the head coach and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel. For the time being, the former Dortmund boss hasn’t been able to rectify the situation completely, but those in charge of the club insist he will be given enough time to show his quality.

The first big shock of the season hit the Bavarians in early April, when they were beaten by Freiburg in the DFB-Pokal quarterfinals, followed closely by a proper thrashing suffered at the hands of Manchester City in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. And now, it seems the Bundesliga title is about to slide through their hands as well.

To make matters worse, Bayern’s marquee signing from last summer, former Liverpool star Sadio Mane, hasn’t lived up to the reputation he earned over six years at Anfield, and his misery at the new club culminated with a dressing room tussle involving former Manchester City man Leroy Sane.

At the moment, Bayern trail Dortmund by two points at the top of the table, and they must beat Koln in this match while hoping Dortmund stumble against Mainz to defend their title. It doesn’t look very likely to happen, though; not given Dortmund’s impressive home record this season. But hope they must.

Bayern appeared close to achieving their goal until last Saturday, when they suffered a 1-3 defeat at home against RB Leipzig and allowed their rivals to overtake them. That was their second defeat in the last six matches in all competitions. The run started with a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the Champions League clash with Manchester City, led by their former boss Pep Guardiola. Then they lost 3-1 away to Mainz, beat Hertha at home by 2-0, beat Werder in Bremen by 1-2, and smashed Schalke 6-0 at home, before Leizpig came to the Allianz Arena.

Team News

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is still out with a broken leg, joined on the sidelines by defenders Lucas Hernandez (knee) and Alphonso Davies (thigh). Striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is a doubt.

Yann Sommer will be in goal, with Benjamin Pavard likely to join Matthijs de Ligt in the heart of defence, flanked by Noussair Mazzraoui and Joao Cancelo. Only Joshua Kimmich is expected to play as a classic midfielder, while the quartet of Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman play behind Serge Gnabry as the furthest attacking point.


With all due respect to Koln, Bayern are likely to return to Munich victorious. Their heads could be bowed and hearts broken even in that case, though, depending on what happens at the Signal Iduna Park.

Verdict: Away win by two goals

Best odds: 7/2

Bookmaker: BetUS


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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