When Borussia Dortmund hosts FC Koln on Saturday night, they will be looking to get back to winning in the Bundesliga.
Last weekend, Borussia Dortmund suffered a setback in their quest for the Bundesliga title as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Schalke 04 in the highly anticipated Revierderby. The result saw Edin Terzic’s side lose ground to their fierce rivals Bayern Munich, who had won their match.
To make matters worse, Chelsea had knocked Dortmund out of the Champions League just four days before the derby, compounding their disappointment. This was a far cry from their impressive form upon returning from the World Cup, where they had won 10 consecutive matches across all competitions.
The pressure is now on for Terzic and his team to bounce back when they face Koln this weekend. With Bayern not playing until Sunday against Bayer Leverkusen, a win for Dortmund on Saturday would see them move ahead of their rivals at the top of the table.
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga Form: W W W W D
Koln’s season has hit a significant roadblock, as their recent form has been a cause for concern. Coach Baumgart’s side has yet to find the back of the net in six out of their last seven matches, which has resulted in a string of poor results.
Last time out, they suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to VfL Bochum, despite their opponents having only won one away game all season.
This defeat has dealt a significant blow to Koln’s aspirations of replicating last season’s impressive seventh-placed finish and qualifying for European competition once again. Instead, their focus has shifted towards avoiding the relegation zone.
The defeat to Bochum has left Baumgart’s side nervously looking over their shoulders at the bottom three, and they will need to improve quickly to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle.
FC Koln Bundesliga Form: W L L D L
Borussia Dortmund will be without several key players for their upcoming match against Koln. Karem Adeyemi, Julian Brandt, Youssoufa Moukoko, Mateu Morey, Julien Dranville, and Abdoulaye Kamara will miss out due to injury.
In addition to the injury woes, Dortmund will be without Emre Can, who will serve a one-match suspension after receiving his fifth-season booking in the Revierderby against Schalke 04.
Koln must also deal with their fair share of absentees before their clash against Dortmund. Jan Thielmann, Kristian Pedersen, Luca Kilian, Mark Uth, Florian Dietz, and Sebastian Andersson are all expected to miss out due to injuries.
Furthermore, Koln may also be without their goalkeeper Timo Horn, who has been suffering from an illness.
Borussia Dortmund’s predicted starting lineup:
Meyer; Wolf, Sule, Schlotterbeck, Ryerson; Bellingham, Ozcan, Guerreiro; Reyna, Haller, Malen
FC Koln’s predicted starting lineup:
Schwabe; Schmitz, Hubers, Chabot, Hector; Martel, Skhiri; Ljubicic, Maina, Kainz; Selke
Head to Head
Dortmund and Koln are no strangers to each other, having faced off 125 times in various competitions since their first encounter in 1950.
Interestingly, the hosts have enjoyed the upper hand in this long-standing rivalry with 50 victories. However, Koln is just a little behind with 41 wins, while the remaining 34 games have ended in draws.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 05:30 pm, UTC
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
With key players missing from their respective squads, it will be challenging for both teams to maintain their usual intensity and creativity on the pitch.
Nevertheless, the absence of these players will also allow others to step up and make a meaningful contribution to their team’s performance. It remains to be seen who will seize this opportunity and significantly impact the game.