SBNation's Ben Schneider, in writing up his preview of the weekend action in Germany, was right with his educated guess, speculating as to the status of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben: "Ribéry should be back for the visitors, but Robben is a doubt as Bayern look for their first win against Cologne since 2008." Hours after his piece when to virtual print, it's been confirmed, with the Associated Press reporting one of Louis van Gaal's attackers will be active.
Left wing Franck Ribery, who has been recovering from a knee injury sustained on January 15, will be back for Saturday's match at Köln. His opposite wing, however, will be out, with a cold preventing Arjen Robben from traveling with the team.
Still, given van Gaal's past practices when Ribery's coming off injury, we could still see a starting XI without either winger. Thomas Müller and Hamit Altintop may get the calls at RheinEnergieStadion.
Ribery had scored five goals in four appearances before the Bundesliga's winter break, but his return from the holidays was met with a knee injury suffered against Wolfsburg. Originally expected to keep the France international out until late February, the knee problem has healed faster than anticipated, allowing Ribery to be probable for Bayern's trip to 16th place Köln.
Robben missed Friday training with a cold, prompting van Gaal to hold him out of this weekend's match. Robben make his first Bayern appearance of the season in the Wolfsburg match, having recovered from a leg injury aggravated at the World Cup. Since, the Dutch attacker has scored in each of his last three matches, including an acrobatic goal against Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Bayern Munich is currently third in the Bundesliga. The defending league champions trail Borussia Dortmund by 14 for the league's lead while sitting three points behind Bayer Leverkusen.