Professionals | 05/10/2019

Matchday 7

Preview ahead of the game against Schalke

Saturday night. Floodlights. Topspiel. Auf Schalke. 1. FC Köln make the trip to the Veltins-Arena on Saturday evening in the highlight match of Bundesliga Matchday 7. After three defeats in a row, Achim Beierlorzer’s men are hoping to get back on track this weekend.

Form check

FC Schalke 04: After a draw against Gladbach and a loss to Bayern, Schalke have turned their season around in spectacular form. Their attack is now ticking and with Amine Harit in the team, David Wagner’s men are a real threat. The Royal Blues’ back-line is also mightily improved, conceding just three goals in the four games since the defeat to Bayern. Now just a point off top spot heading into Matchday 7, Wagner will want to consolidate that form going into the internationals.

1. FC Köln: After the win against Freiburg, things haven’t gone according to plan for FC. Defeat in the derby to Borussia Mönchengladbach was followed by 4:0 loses against both Bayern Munich and Hertha BSC. Achim Beierlorzer’s men picked up that victory in Freiburg before the international break and will be hoping for a similar response this time around as well.

The managers have had their say

David Wagner: "This team (FC) has quality - that's not in question. They also have a few issues at the moment. But we need to concentrate on us. Just because we've won four games in a row, doesn't mean that the situation has changed. We're concentrating fully on winning our fifth game in a row."

Achim Beierlorzer: "Schalke are the team of the hour. We're looking forward to this game. The secret to Schalke's success at the moment is the team. One has the impression, that they're there for each other. They've found a defensive stability, and individuals who stand out from the rest."

Squad update

FC Schalke 04: Nabil Bentaleb is Schalke’s only long-term injury problem heading into the game and he will remain absent for the visit of FC. Alexander Nübel missed training again on Thursday and is doubtful for the game, which would hand a Bundesliga debut to Markus Schubert.

1. FC Köln: Achim Beierlorzer will be without the injured Birger Verstraete, Dominick Drexler and Christian Clemens. Darko Churlinov and Rafael Czichos both returned to training on Monday, and Kingsley Ehizibue is available once more after serving his suspension. Jorge Meré, who was sent off against Hertha BSC, will serve the first of his two-game ban.

Opposition dangerman

Not just one of Schalke’s stand-out stars in their early season form, but also one of the players to catch the eye through the Bundesliga. Amine Harit has been one of the shining lights in German football this season. After a tough 2018-19 campaign, the Moroccan midfielder has four goals and two assists in the six games this season. Four wins in a row and Harit’s skilful style of play have given Schalke supporters reason to be positive this term.

Refereeing team

Referee: Tobias Welz (Wiesbaden).

Linesmen: Rafael Foltyn, Dr. Martin Thomsen.

Fourth official: Markus Schüller.

Video referee: Daniel Siebert.

Video assistant referee: Jan Seidel.

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Total table
10Hertha BSC35
111. FC Köln34
12FC Augsburg31