1. FC Köln: After the DFB-Pokal win over VSG Altglienicke, FC have found things tough to start the Bundesliga season. Close contests against TSG Hoffenheim (2:3) and Arminia Bielefeld (0:1) went without reward before a derby defeat against Borussia Mönchengladbach (1:3). Markus Gisdol has now had the chance to bed in some of the new arrivals after the business late in the transfer window and will be hoping for a result against Frankfurt to kickstart the season.
Eintracht Frankfurt: After an opening day draw against Arminia Bielefeld, Frankfurt have bounced back to record wins over Hertha BSC and early pacesetters TSG Hoffenheim. Adi Hütter’s men sat third in the table ahead of the start of Matchday 4. The Austrian tactician will be hoping to continue the good form that seen them end the previous campaign with 10 points from a possible 12.
Markus Gisdol: “Eintracht Frankfurt have grown a lot. They are a team that play very physically and are physically strong. We have to really try and hold up against that in the challenges. We have been working hard on that recently. I trust my team that they will hold their own.”
Adi Hütter: “It’s crucial for us to pick up where we left off before the break, but that’s easier said than done. Köln are licking their wounds at the moment, but you should always be aware of a wounded opponent. We’re going to have to maintain our focus.”
1. FC Köln: Jorge Meré and Ismail Jakobs will both be available for the weekend. Florian Kainz remains the only long-term injury absentee, with Jonas Hector still in individual training after his knock against Arminia. The FC captain will not be fit for the weekend. The internationals and Sebastian Andersson, who was getting treatment on his knee in Munich, were set to return to team training on Friday. Anthony Modeste is also an option once more, having continued to make strides in his recovery. Benno Schmitz is match fit again after his injury against Altglienicke.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Ragnar Ache will miss the match after picking up a thigh injury while on Germany under-21 duty, and is set for a few weeks on the sidelines. Filip Kostic is still absent due to his injury on Matchday 2. Evan N’Dicka could return after having missed the last month of action after taking part in team training on Wednesday.
Bas Dost has started the new campaign in red-hot form. The Dutchman scored three times in the final four games of the previous season and has carried that into the new term. In four matches thus far – including the DFB-Pokal – Dost has three goals and three assists to his name. The towering 31-year-old has shown the form that saw him score an incredible 93 times in 127 matches for Sporting CP.
The draw between the two sides last season was the first in over 10 years. The point that secured FC’s place in the Bundesliga was the first stalemate against Frankfurt since 22nd August 2009. In the 12 matches sandwiched between the two draws, FC have been marginally more successful and have won seven of the meetings. Frankfurt’s last win in Köln came at the beginning of the 2017-18 season.