| 01/02/2020

Matchday 20

Preview ahead of the game against Freiburg

It’s a welcome return home for 1. FC Köln on Matchday 20, as they face SC Freiburg at the RheinEnergieSTADION on Sunday afternoon. FC will hope hope that being back at home will mean a return to form, too.

Form check

1. FC Köln: Despite defeat in the last game against Borussia Dortmund, the previous good form and four wins in a row have given reason to be hopeful against Freiburg. With three of those coming in consecutive home games, Markus Gisdol will want to continue his unbeaten run at the RheinEnergieSTADION. FC have had nine days between games and will be raring to go come Sunday.

SC Freiburg: After a fine start with the first ever away win in Mainz, Freiburg were hoping to pick up from where they left off against Paderborn. However, a smash-and-grab win from the visitors meant that Freiburg were quickly brought back down to earth. With European places far from the mouths of the Schwarzwald side, a win would still keep the dream alive.

The managers have had their say

Markus Gisdol: “Freiburg are an incredibly stable unit. For years, they've done great work. No matter where or who they play, they always have a chance. It will be a difficult game, and we've got to go into it with a plan. Along with that comes their tactical adaptability. This season, they’ve shown again that they’re good going away from home, too.”

Christian Streich: “They’re aggressive in how they go about things, and go into every opportunity to press. We’ve got to physically work against that. Köln also try to play football and after some difficulties at the start against Wolfsburg, they came into the game and went from there.”

Squad update

1. FC Köln: Christian Clemens is still absent and is continuing his rehab following his knee injury. Toni Leistner is a fresh face around Köln after his arrival on loan from QPR, while Lasse Sobiech and Matthias Bader have both departed. The only question is over Elvis Rexhbecaj’s knee problem, and whether or not he will be fit for Sunday.

SC Freiburg: For Christian Streich, there is only one the long-term absentee in Lukas Kübler. There are doubts over both Janik Haberer and Vincenzo Grifo, who both paused with the cold during the week. Woo-yeong Jeong returned to Bayern Munich on loan during the week, while Robin Koch remained at the club despite speculation linking him with a move away from the club.

Opposition dangerman

Nils Petersen has been Freiburg’s leading man for years, and now he has the record to prove it. The 31-year-old’s winning goal against Mainz on Matchday 18 was his 84th goal for the club – putting him out on his own ahead of Germany coach, Joachim Löw. The veteran forward has scored eight times this season and will hope to add to that as he goes in search of double figures for the fourth consecutive Bundesliga season.

Refereeing team

Referee: Dr. Robert Kampka (Mainz).

Linesmen: Benedikt Kempkes, Rafael Foltyn.

Fourth official: Markus Schüller.

Video assistant referee: Robert Hartmann.

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