Augsburg: The hosts have had a topsy-turvy season to date. Augsburg have had phases where they have earned points on the regular but also regularly followed those periods with winless runs. Heiko Herrlich’s team have picked up one point from their last three games. A draw against Bielefeld was sandwiched by defeats to Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt.
1. FC Köln: After nine games without a win, including the defeat against Bayer Leverkusen in Friedhelm Funkel’s first match of his second spell, FC managed to pick up three points against Leipzig. A double from Jonas Hector secured a 2:1 win and has swung some much-needed positivity into the battle to beat the drop. It is now a question of carrying that into the final four games.
Heiko Herrlich: “It's important that we perform like we did in Frankfurt. We have to get into the tackles, stand firm against them and use our chances in front of goal better than in recent matches. It’s a shame that we didn’t get our reward. We had a good game but all in all we have played three games without scoring.”
Friedhelm Funkel: “Augsburg are a robust team, who go into lots of challenge, have quick players and a good counter-attack. If we go to go forward, which is what we want to go, then it is important that we stay alert at the back. We want to win as many games as possible. We can’t say how many points we need to stay up. That depends on the results of the others. We must concentrate on ourselves and put in a good performance against Augsburg.”
Augsburg: “Heiko Herrlich will have to do without Felix Uduokhai on Friday evening. The centre-back is missing through suspension. Rani Khedira is carrying a knock from the Bielefeld game. He is a doubt with Michael Gregoritsch, who has the cold. Otherwise, there are no new injury worries.”
1. FC Köln: “Ismail Jakobs and Jan Thielmann are still recovering from their respective injuries and won’t be part of proceedings. Kingsley Ehizibue is also absent after picking up his fifth yellow card.”
Daniel Caligiuri joined Augsburg on a free transfer from Schalke 04 in the summer and immediately became one of their most important players. He started every game aside from Tuesday, where he missed out through suspension. Caligiuri has five goals and five assists to his name, making it his fifth season with 10 or more goal involvements.
There have been 18 meetings between the two teams down the years. Augsburg have the better of things over those 18 matches. There have been seven Augsburg wins, four for FC and seven draws. FC have never won away against Augsburg in the Bundesliga and have failed to beat Augsburg in the Bundesliga since the first-ever top-flight meeting between the two sides.
Referee: Martin Petersen (Stuttgart).Assistant referees: Alexander Sather, Benedikt Kempkes.Fourth official: Marco Fritz.Video Assistant Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb.
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