Professionals | 02/08/2019

Final pre-season friendly

A trip to the South Coast for FC

1. FC Köln make the trip to Southampton on Friday, ahead of their final pre-season friendly as the preparation for the 2019-20 season comes to a close. On Saturday, FC will face Southampton at St. Mary’s at 16:00 CEST (15:00 BST).

With FC’s first competitive game of the season just over a week away, Achim Beierlorzer’s men take on Southampton in a bid to end pre-season on a high. With two training camps behind them, Saturday represents an opportunity to gain yet more confidence before the DFB-Pokal first-round tie against SV Wehen Wiesbaden.

With five wins and two defeats through the seven pre-season fixtures to date, there have been plenty of positives to take from the hard work throughout July. The two loses came against high-calibre opponents in Werder Bremen and Villarreal CF, but even in those two games, FC were able to showcase the new style of play implemented by Beierlorzer and the coaching team.

Ismail Jakobs, Noah Katterbach and Marcel Risse will not make the trip to England due to injuries picked up through pre-season, otherwise there is a clean bill of health to report. Heading into the final game of the new season’s preparation, FC have scored 35 goals and conceded seven. Jhon Cordoba leads the way having scored seven of those goals, with Darko Churlinov popping up with an impressive five.

Speaking ahead of the game, Achim Beierlorzer said: “It’s exactly as we planned. We want to keep raising the level through each friendly match. Although I’m interested to see whether or not Southampton are another step up from Villarreal. Against Villarreal, I saw a very strong Spanish team with individual class. But that’s how it should be. It should be a measuring stick. Therefore, the friendly game is important."

Oh when the Saints…

Southampton are yet to taste defeat in pre-season, having claimed three wins and a draw from their four preparation games. That includes noteworthy wins over Guangzhou R&F (4:0) and Feyenoord (3:1), as well as a 3:1 victory over Preston North End. The only game that Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men have failed to claim a win in was their first pre-season outing against SCR Altach (1:1).

The Saints have been boosted by the arrivals of Danny Ings and Che Adams this summer. Along with the addition of Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege, Hasenhüttl has bolstered attacking options in the transfer window.

Jordie Clasie has joined AZ Alkmaar on a free transfer, while experienced Northern Ireland captain, Steven Davis has returned to Rangers after a seven-year stay with the Saints. Matt Targett and Sam Gallagher have also made exits to Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers, respectively.

As always, Southampton’s youth academy continues to provide exciting talent for the first-team. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott is the already established James Ward-Prowse and exciting Republic of Ireland striking prospect, Michael Obafemi.

Three of Southampton’s players have Bundesliga experience under their belts. Jannik Vestergaard was previously with Borussia Mönchengladbach, while Pierre-Emile Højbjerg enjoyed spells with both Bayern Munich and Schalke 04. Oriol Romeu spent a year on loan with VfB Stuttgart.

1000 FC fans will make the trip to the South Coast for Saturday’s match. The game against Southampton will not be able to be streamed live outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, due to rights reasons.

There will be no tickets available at the gate for Saturday's game in the away end.

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Total table
9TSG 1899 Hoffenheim35
101. FC Köln32
111. FC Union Berlin30