1. FC Köln: After a good run of form, beginning with the win against Dortmund, FC had hoped to take the momentum from 2020 into 2021. Unfortunately, what followed were defeats against both FC Augsburg and SC Freiburg. Markus Gisdol’s charges are keen to get back to the form that seen them take eight points from give games before the turn of the year.
Hertha BSC: The capital club have also had a tough time of late. They have won just one of their last five games surrounding the Christmas break, that being a 3:0 win against FC Schalke 04. Labbadia is hoping to improve on the defeat to Bielefeld at the first time of asking, with games against Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen to come in the next seven days.
Markus Gisdol: “Hertha have regularly played 4-3-3. But they change that a lot during the game. It’s hard to predict what way they will set up against us. It’s very important that we remain stable and concentrate on ourselves.”
Bruno Labbadia: “The goal for the game is clear: we have to win. We're fully focused on that. The injury setbacks are a problem of course, but if we work together and all pull in the same direction, we can achieve that goal. We're expecting it to be a very competitive game, similar to last weekend against Bielefeld.”
1. FC Köln: Markus Gisdol has no fresh injury concerns following the game against SC Freiburg. Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz remain the only two absentees.
Hertha BSC: Bruno Labbadia has more fitness worries to contend with. Dedryck Boyata, Márton Dárdai, Javairô Dilrosun, Eduard Löwen and Marvin Plattenhardt will all miss the game. Matheus Cunha is a real doubt for the capital club, with questions over Vladimir Darida and Jessic Ngankam.
While things might not have been easy going for Hertha in recent weeks, Matteo Guendouzi has been a bright spark in midfield. The on-loan French midfielder has shown his class of late, with two superb goals in his last five games. Hertha have only lost three of the 10 games in which he has played in, with the 23-year-old having started each of the last nine matches. His energy and desire will be key for Labbadia’s side in the midfield battle.
FC’s recent home record against Hertha has room for improvement, having won just one of the last six meetings in Müngersdorf against the capital club. However, the last meeting between the sides saw FC run out 5:0 winners in Berlin. Aside from the last few matches in Köln, FC have largely enjoyed a successful afternoon against Hertha having won 62% of Bundesliga home games against them.
€ 79.99 *