Professionals | 03/05/2019

Matchday 32

Greuther Fürth - 1. FC Köln Preview: FC aim to get back on track

After four games without a win, 1. FC Köln are keen to get back to winning ways and make a statement in their final three games. That begins with the trip to the Sportpark Ronhof on Monday evening, where they face a Greuther Fürth side who are winless in their last three outings. The Shamrocks will want to make amends for the defeat in Magdeburg, and make finally sure of their status in 2. Bundesliga for next season.

Form check

Greuther Fürth: Despite being second and only a point behind FC after 10 Matchdays, Greuther Fürth have found things tough going since then. Just 19 points have followed in the 21 games since. While it would take a miracle for the Shamrocks to get relegated, the poor form in between cost Damir Buric his job. Stefan Leitl is now at the helm and will be keen to start building again after steadying the ship somewhat. After three wins in their last 17 games, a positive end to the season would build the mood ahead of next campaign.

1. FC Köln: After two draws and two defeats, there has been a change of manager at FC. Markus Anfang has been replaced by André Pawlak for the final three games of the season. 1. FC Köln still remain top of the table, with a five point lead over SC Paderborn and a further point clear of Union Berlin and HSV. There are positive memories from the last game against Fürth, a 4:0 win, and FC will be hoping to put in a similar performance on Monday.

The managers have had their say

Stefan Leitl: "Köln have a good points gap and have scored the most goals. Their individual quality is really good. We rise to the challenge, it’s a high hurdle but we are also able to call upon good performances. The change of coach makes the preparation a bit more difficult. Nevertheless, I am convinced that we are going into the game well prepared. What's important is that we focus on our strengths and our game."

André Pawlak: "They can play very well against the top teams at home. Fürth are a team, who can counter quickly. Therefore, we have to be careful that we don't run wildly into the counter. They're a team who are robust, who stay compact and who are experienced. We still need points, regardless of how the others play. Therefore, we're concentrating on ourselves - we can't influence everything else that goes on."

Squad update

Greuther Fürth: Stefan Leitl has a few selection problems ahead of FC’s visit, due to both suspension and injury. Daniel Keita-Ruel is still absent due to his red card against Arminia Bielefeld, while Fabian Reese’s fifth yellow against Magdeburg means he is also unavailable. Sebastian Ernst broke his foot after half an hour in that game, meaning he joins the sidelined Maximilian Wittek and Tobias Mohr.

1. FC Köln: Christian Clemens won’t play any part against Fürth after tearing a knee ligament against Darmstadt. Marco Höger trained fully on Friday, while Anthony Modeste and Simon Terodde have trained individually throughout the week and could be fit by Monday.


  • FC have gone four games without a win for the second time this season. After that previous run, they bounced back with an 8:1 win over Dynamo Dresden. Two defeats in a row last occurred before and after the Winter Break, with a 4:1 win over FC St. Pauli as the response.
  • From the previous five games against the table toppers in 2. Bundesliga, Greuther Fürth have taken 13 points from a possible 15. Their last defeat against the team top of the league came against Eintracht Braunschweig in October 2016.
  • Games between FC and Fürth are normally close run affairs. Aside from the 4:0 win at the RheinEnergieSTADION last time out, the previous four encounters all ended in draws. That also means that FC are unbeaten against Fürth since 2007.

Opposition dangerman

With Daniel Keita-Ruel, Sebastian Ernst and Tobias Mohr all missing, Greuther Fürth will be relying heavily upon the pace and guile of David Atanga. The on-loan Red Bull Salzburg winger has one goal and seven assists to his name this season. Atanga had previously spent time in 2. Bundesliga with Heidenheim on loan, but he seems to have really found his feet in Fürth. Stefan Leitl’s men are yet to lose when Atnga has managed to contribute to a goal this season.


  • Johannes Geis will make his first return to Fürth as an opposition player since leaving the Shamrocks for Mainz in 2013. He is the youngest player to turn out for the Franconians in 2. Bundesliga and also their youngest Bundesliga goalscorer – a long-range winner in the Frankenderby, no less.
  • Lasse Sobiech and Dominick Drexler will also be returning to Fürth, having also previously turned out at the Sportpark Ronhof. Sobiech was with Geis during his time there, spending a season on loan with the club. Drexler joined the campaign following Fürth’s one-year stay in the Bundesliga.
  • Armin Veh was also formerly at Greuther Fürth as head coach. He helped them to promotion from the Regionalliga Süd to 2. Bundesliga in the 1996-97 campaign.

TV schedule

Austria, Germany, Switzerland – Sky Sport

Czech Republic, Slovakia – DIGI GO

Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden – Viaplay

Hungary – Sport 1 Hungary

UK and Ireland – BT Sport

Netherlands – Fox Sports

USA – FOX Soccer Match Pass

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Total table
PL. Team Pt.
16 1. FSV Mainz 05 9
17 1. FC Köln 7
18 SC Paderborn 07 4