1. FC Köln: A DFB-Pokal win on penalties against FC Carl Zeiss Jena in Steffen Baumgart’s first game in charge was followed up by a comeback victory against Hertha BSC in front of 16,500 FC fans. Despite fighting back from two-nil down in an incredible three-minute Salvo to level things at two-all, Baumgart’s first defeat as FC boss was a narrow loss at the hands of Bayern Munich. He will now be hoping to count on 8,500 more supporters and pick up a second straight home win.
VfL Bochum: After the Pokal progression in extra-time against Wuppertaler SV, Bochum’s Bundesliga return after 11 years absence began in chaotic fashion. Promotion hero Robert Tesche was sent off and Manuel Riemann saved a penalty inside the opening five minutes in Wolfsburg. However, a Wout Weghorst strike was enough to give the Wolves all three points. Fast forward and one week later, in front of 12,500 fans in the Ruhrstadion, Gerrit Holtmann’s stunning solo and Sebastian Polter’s header showed just what Thomas Reis’ side can do in the big time.
Steffen Baumgart: “Whoever thinks that Bochum are just another promoted side, they have already lost. It will be a tight game. Bochum are back in the Bundesliga after 11 years away. They have a very strong team, that battle hard, are compact and Thomas Reis gives his side a clear plan. Thomas is always very motivated and clear with the things that he wants. He isn’t afraid to make decisions.”
Thomas Reis: “1. FC Köln play very bravely under Steffen Baumgart and press high. I look forward to seeing him again on Saturday. We get along very well. At the end of the day, I would like to the one able to smile more after the final whistle. We can hold our own and are well organised. We want to show that in Köln. We know what is waiting for us there. FC have made a good impression so far.”
1. FC Köln: Timo Hübers and Marvin Schwäbe will both miss out this weekend as Steffen Baumgart targets a return in the international break for the pair. Jan Thielmann is ill and will also be absent.
VfL Bochum: Christian Gamboa will be out for several weeks after undergoing an operation on an elbow problem. Eduard Löwen and Danny Blum are both options again after overcoming injury issues. Robert Tesche will serve the final game of his two-match suspension, while it remains to be seen if Takuma Asano or Maxim Leitsch will be fit to face FC.
There aren’t many players who make their Bundesliga debut at the age of 35, but that is the case with Anthony Losilla. The Bochum captain has been a fixture of the side since his move from Dresden in 2014 and is a firm Ruhrstadion fan favourite. The Frenchman covered more ground than any other player in the league and is only missing when the yellow cards tally up. Losilla scored the goal to put Bochum ahead on the final day and remove any doubt of a first Bundesliga return in 11 years. Toto embodies everything that the fans want to see on the pitch: fight, passion and the battling mentality.
While Bochum won on their last visit to Müngersdorf back in 2018, it is usually an unhappy hunting ground for the team in blue and white. Bochum have won just one Bundesliga match in Köln, back in 2004 thanks to Frank Fahrenhorst. Aside from that one game, FC have claimed victory in 21 of the 29 meetings between the sides in Köln.
Referee: Benjamin Cortus (Röthenbach).Assistant referees: Florian Heft, Robert Kempter.Fourth Official: Thomas Gorniak.Video Assistant Referee: Tobias Welz.
€ 79.99 *