1. FC Köln: FC have picked up seven points from their first four games under Steffen Baumgart. After a win against Hertha BSC, a defeat to Bayern and then three points against VfL Bochum, FC returned from the international break to pick up a draw in Freiburg. Baumgart could equal records from 1993 and 1983 should FC make it three home wins on the spin against Leipzig.
Leipzig: Jesse Marsch’s side have endured some difficult times at the start of his reign as head coach. The American got off to a strong start against Sandhausen, picking up a four-nil Pokal win. However, just a solitary win since then means that Leipzig are under pressure to turn things around and get their season back on track. A strong performance in Köln would go some way to doing that.
Steffen Baumgart: “Leipzig are very aggressive when it comes to Gegenpressing. They press high and get a lot of joy through second balls. I expect a game with a high intensity. Leipzig have a lot of quality and pace; they are one of the best teams in the Bundesliga. Leipzig conceded a lot of goals against City and Bayern. But have also lost narrowly. Leipzig don't have a crisis in terms of performance, but results.”
Jesse Marsch: “1. FC Köln are a team that fight hard and have had a really good start to the season. We are preparing for a very tough game. We have to embrace the battle and work for our success with desire and mentality. We need a certain type of player against Köln. Like I said, we'll need to work hard to win the game and show desire and discipline at the right moments.”
1. FC Köln: Tim Lemperle has an ankle issue and will be absent on Saturday evening. Florian Kainz will serve his suspension after his red card against SC Freiburg. Otherwise, apart from the absentees from last week, all players are available for the game.
Leipzig: Marcel Halstenberg and Hugo Novoa are both missing for the trip to Köln. Otherwise, there are no injury concerns for Jesse Marsch. The Leipzig coach will have to see how the squad have coped with game during the week against Manchester City.
Dominik Szoboszlai is finally fit for Leipzig after missing the Rückrunde last season through injury. The Hungarian attacking midfielder finally made his debut against Sandhausen in the DFB-Pokal and immediately made his mark. He managed to find the back of the net then and also fired in a brace against Stuttgart in the league. The 20-year-old will be keen to back up a strong start against FC.
Last season, FC managed to pick up four points against Leipzig. A hard-fought, battling 0:0 draw in Leipzig was followed up by a memorable 2:1 win; the result that kick-started the great escape. Overall, however, Leipzig have won four of the eight games between the teams.
Referee: Dr. Felix Brych (München).Assistant Referees: Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp.Fourth Official: Robert Schröder.Video Assistant Referee: Robert Hartmann.
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