Professionals | 20/04/2021

Matchday 30

Preview ahead of the Leipzig game

On Tuesday evening, 1. FC Köln face Leipzig at the RheinEnergieSTADION. FC want to be brave and more effective going forward against the team currently in second place.

Form check

1. FC Köln: FC’s first game under Friedhelm Funkel was good going forward but the team were unfortunately unable to take their chances. The woodwork and a matter of millimetres meant that FC ended up on the wrong side of a 3:0 scoreline. However, given the aggressive performances against the top sides of late, FC will want to reward themselves for their efforts.

Leipzig: Julian Nagelsmann’s side are on course to record their best Bundesliga points total. To go beyond the 67 points tallied in 2016-17, Leipzig need seven points from their remaining five games. The 0:0 draw against Hoffenheim didn’t make too much of a dent in that last time out and allowed Bayern to stretch their lead to seven points once more. However, a win tonight and they will secure their Champions League spot for next season.

The managers have had their say

Friedhelm Funkel: “The team's willingness cannot be denied. The last thing we're going to do is give up. And that's exactly how we will approach the game against Leipzig. But if we want to win games in the next few weeks, we have to be much more effective going forward. That will be our aim and I am convinced that we can do it.”

Julian Nagelsmann: “It's really hard for Friedhelm Funkel to change the fundamentals in such a short space of time as the new head coach. But there were some things that stood out to me in their game against Leverkusen. They saw more of the ball and played with a more regular high press. From their point of view, they were unlucky.”

Squad update

1. FC Köln: Ismail Jakobs and Jan Thielmann are still sidelined through their respective injuries. Sebastian Andersson remains a doubt due to his knee problems. However, there were no new issues after the game in Leverkusen.

Leipzig: Julian Nagelsmann is still without January arrival Dominik Szoboszlai. Kondra Laimer, who returned to training this week after a long injury lay off, is still not an option for the game. However, Nagelsmann should have the rest of his squad available.

Opposition dangerman

Marcel Sabitzer joined Leipzig from Rapid Wien before being loaned out to Red Bull Salzburg for the season. The Austrian international then returned and helped Leipzig to earn promotion to the Bundesliga. The 27-year-old is captain and only Yussuf Poulsen has more appearances for Leipzig. Sabitzer has seven goals to his name this season coming from central midfield and, despite a calf problem, should feature against FC.

Recent record

FC have won just once against Leipzig in the Bundesliga. This will be the eighth meeting between the teams, and Leipzig remain the opponent which FC have played least amongst all current Bundesliga clubs. The only win against Leipzig came back in February 2018, as Vincent Koziello and Leonardo Bittencourt scored in the 2:1 away win.

Refereeing team

Referee: Frank Willenborg (Osnabrück).
Assistant referees: Arne Aarnink, Christian Dietz.
Fourth official: Markus Häcker.
Video Assistant Referee: Felix Zwayer.

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Total table
15DSC Arminia Bielefeld35
161. FC Köln33
17SV Werder Bremen31