FC Bayern München will look to sidestep the title banana skin that is 1. FC Köln on Saturday afternoon.
bundesliga.com puts the Bundesliga leaders' Matchday 27 assignment in the Domstadt under the microscope.
Following their surprise 2-1 home defeat to 1. FSV Mainz 05 and goalless draw with Borussia Dortmund, Bayern bounced back in fine style last weekend. SV Werder Bremen were simply no match for the defending champions, who stuck away five goals without reply at the jubilant Allianz Arena. It was the fourth time this season that the men in red had hit five past Bundesliga opposition, and it probably will not be the last.
Unlike against VfL Wolfsburg last autumn, Bayern's five goals came from three different sources on Matchday 26. The prolific Robert Lewandowski did net his 24th Bundesliga strike of the campaign from the bench, but there were also a pair of braces for the 19-goal Thomas Müller and midfield matador Thiago Alcantara. Juventus loanee Kingsley Coman, meanwhile, chipped in with three assists in what may well have been the French winger's most complete performance in a Bayern shirt.
Goals rarely in short supply
Bayern's 21st win of the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign ensured Dortmund remain at arm's length, five points off top spot in second place. The Bavarians also boast a superior goal difference of +51 compared to Dortmund's +36, a factor which could potentially still come into play should there be any uncharacteristic slip-ups between now and the season's end. Fortunately, they have a habit of pushing the overdrive button against Köln, having won their last five meetings with the Billy Goats by an aggregate score of 17-2.
Changing of the guard
Although their overall record against Bayern is nothing particular to write home about - W22, D22, L40 - there was a time when Köln were considered the crème de la crème of German football. Indeed, when the Billy Goats lifted the inaugural Bundesliga title in 1963/64, Bayern were still knocking around in the Regionalliga Süd, and did got gain promotion to the top tier for another year. Since then, however, Bayern have been crowned Bundesliga champions on 24 occasions to Köln's additional one (1977/78).
As we touched on, Bayern have come a cropper against Köln before, with one of their most costly defeats to the Billy Goats falling on Matchday 21 of the 2008/09 campaign. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if Bayern had won that fixture, it would have been them rather than VfL Wolfsburg with their hands on the prize on the final day - Jupp Heynckes' side having ended the campaign two points behind first-time champions VfL. Needless to say, the Kölsch will be on Dortmund if Peter Stöger's men can provide the proverbial bump in the road this weekend.