Bayern Munich Vs. FC Köln, 2011 Bundesliga, Week 17: It's The Lukas Podolski Show!

COLOGNE, GERMANY - DECEMBER 13: Lukas Podolski of Koeln shows emotions during the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Koeln and FSV Mainz 05 at RheinEnergieStadion on December 13, 2011 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The Lukas Podolski show rolls into Munich, where FC Köln will face off against his old club, Bayern Munich.

Once the young player of the tournament at the 2006 World Cup and still a star for Germany at the 2010 World Cup, the wonderful Lukas Podolski has struggled to duplicate his fantastic play in a Germany shirt while playing for club sides since that 2006 World Cup. Finally, for the first time in his career, he looks like a truly dominant player in club football (not counting his one dominant year in the 2. Bundesliga). He's put FC Köln on his back and has them well clear of the relegation places. On Friday, he'll be asked to work his magic again against Bayern Munich.

Podolski has an incredible 14 goals in 15 games, but that doesn't mean he's been a consistent factor for Köln. There are games where he is not terribly involved by literally no fault of his own. See, Köln is a bad team, especially while Podolski's strike partner Milivoje Novakovic is out injured. Remove Novakovic and Podolski from the equation and this team is no better than Freiburg or Augsburg.

Bayern Munich, meanwhile, are Bayern Munich. They haven't been in the best form while Bastian Schweinsteiger has been out injured, but they're still coming off of wins over Werder Bremen and Stuttgart. They're very vulnerable to counter-attacks through the center of the pitch without their rock in the middle, but Cologne doesn't really have anyone with the quality to expose them. 

This should be another win for Bayern, but the way Podolski has been rescuing points for Köln, who knows? He's not going to see too much of the ball, but he doesn't need too many looks at goal to be a danger to the Bavarians. 

Bayern Munich vs. FC Köln

Game Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 16, 2:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. local

Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

TV: ESPN Deportes (USA - Spanish), ESPN (UK)

Online: ESPN3 (USA)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.