Munich - It would appear Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern München are approaching something akin to top gear ahead of 1. FC Köln's trip to the Allianz Arena on Friday night (kick-off 20:30 CET/ 19:30 GMT).

16 goals without reply in their last three league appearances attest to that, although a certain Pep Guardiola would have you believe there's still a lot more to come from the defending champions between now and May. previews Matchday 23's curtain-raiser...

The league leaders are once again in the mix on three fronts, eight points in front of VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and with important knockout games coming up in both the DFB Cup and the UEFA Champions League. By contrast, survival is all that matters to Köln, who currently sit just three places above the relegation zone.

is expected to start after being rested last time out. Xabi Alonso or David Alaba will likely make way, but muscle problems once again keep defender Medhi Benatia on the sidelines. Philipp Lahm, Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez, although training again, are all still some way from full match fitness.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Billy Goats pack the midfield in a bid to stifle Bayern's pass masters. Japanese forward (l.) could, therefore, find himself warming the bench, with Adam Matuschyk coming in to form one part of a five-man wall across the centre of the park.

Arjen Robben moved top of the Bundesliga scoring charts on 16 goals with a brace in last Saturday's 6-0 win at SC Paderborn 07. The Dutchman has struck in four consecutive encounters and has already matched his personal best for a single season in terms of goal scored, set in 2009/10.

Many will expect to see the visitors feeding on scraps in the Bavarian capital, but that could be all Nigerian frontman Anthony Ujah needs to make his mark. The 24-year-old scored the Billy Goats' first goal since Matchday 18 in last weekend's 1-1 draw against Hannover and is the club's leading scorer on seven for the season.

Guardiola (Bayern head coach): "Every game provides an opportunity for us to improve our game and our confidence."

Peter Stöger (Köln head coach): "The match is a huge challenge, but also an opportunity to achieve something special."

Bayern's teething problems appear to be done with following successive wins over VfB Stuttgart, Hamburger SV and Paderborn. Köln could only draw with two of those, but did manage to beat HSV away on Matchday 18. Their only competitive defeat so far in 2015 came in the Rhineland derby in Mönchengladbach.

Mario Götze (r.) opened the scoring as Bayern ground out a 2-0 victory in Köln on Matchday 6. The record German champions have only won one of their last five against the Billy Goats at the Allianz Arena, though, losing on home soil as recently as February 2009 and drawing the other three.

Possible line-ups:

FC Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha, J. Boateng, Badstuber, Juan Bernat - Schweinsteiger - M. Götze, Alaba - Robben, Lewandowski, Ribery

Köln: Horn - Olkowski, Maroh, Wimmer, Hector - Vogt, M. Lehmann, Matuschyk - Risse, Svento - Ujah

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