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FCB travel to Cologne in determined mood

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FCB travel to Cologne in determined mood

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri May 04, 2012 3:40 pm

Bayern approach the run-in to the end of the season with the declared goal of three wins in their last three matches. Prior to the cup final against Dortmund and the Champions League showdown with Chelsea in one and two weeks respectively, Munich travel to FC Köln on Saturday (Live in English from 3.30 pm on Web Radio), determined to contest the Bundesliga campaign "cleanly and properly through to the end," as Mario Gomez said, "so we're taking it 100 percent seriously and with total commitment."

There is indeed plenty at stake, at least for the men from Cologne, who have not won in eight but will definitely cling onto 16th spot should they beat Bayern. If not, Hertha Berlin could claim the relegation play-off spot by beating Hoffenheim at home, leapfrogging Köln and sending the Rhineland side down to the second division. "For Köln it's about survival, so they'll come out and fight accordingly," reflected David Alaba.

Podolski doubtful

Köln coach Frank Schaefer urged his men "to show utter greed and not stand around moaning!" Schaefer reminded his side of the corresponding fixture last season, when Munich were cruising at 2-0 up, but ultimately lost 3-2. "My team is capable of that as they've proved," the home coach remarked, although he may be without talisman Lukas Podolski. The famous local boy, who confirmed his switch to Arsenal last week, has a stomach upset. A decision on his fitness will be left until the day of the match.

Gomez said he is expecting "a very tight game" in the Rhineland on Saturday. Bayern, who will finish second in the league whatever Saturday's results, are aiming to win as a springboard into the week leading up to the cup final. "It does make a difference whether you go into a final on the back of a win or a defeat, as we saw in Bremen," remarked Gomez, thinking back to a 2-1 victory over Werder two weeks ago, the prelude to a historic Champions League night in Madrid.

Honours at stake

Gomez played down his personal battle to finish as the league's top scorer. Mario is a goal behind Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, "and naturally, I want to score and win the match. Then let's see where we stand." However, it would be "really not a problem" if he is unable to defend the top scorer crown, he insisted: "We have much bigger targets than a mere cannon."

Another fringe matter is the all-time Bundesliga defensive record of just 21 goals against, which FCB would match if they keep a clean sheet in Cologne. "It would be nice," offered Holger Badstuber, "but the priority is to win." Indeed, all other matters are secondary now compared to the crucial target of rounding off the campaign with three straight victories.
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