Professionals | 23/01/2020

Matchday 19

Preview ahead of the trip to Dortmund

1. FC Köln make the trip to Signal Iduna Park on Friday evening to take on Borussia Dortmund. FC travel into the Ruhrpott in good form, but well aware of the task that awaits.

Form check

Borussia Dortmund: After a difficult end to 2019 with the draw with Leipzig and defeat to Hoffenheim, BVB’s first 55 minutes of 2020 saw them trailing 3:1 to FC Augsburg. However, cometh the moment, cometh the man. Erling Haaland stepped onto the pitch and suitably turned the game on his head to score a debut hat-trick for his new club within 23 minutes. Now, after the 5:3 win, hope is high that it is just the kick that Dortmund and Lucien Favre needed to start the Rückrunde.

1. FC Köln: That wasn’t the case for FC and Markus Gisdol, who could have been forgiven had they not wanted 2019 to end. Three wins on the trot lifted 1. FC Köln out and clear of the relegation zone. That was stretched to four for the first time since 2000, as a 3:1 victory over VfL Wolfsburg proved the perfect start to the Rückrunde. However, given how close things are in the relegation battle, Gisdol isn’t taking anything for granted despite the good run of form.

The managers have had their say

Lucien Favre: “We must play with even more concentration and we’ve got to better anticipate a few things defensively and going forward. When we have the ball, we’ve got to be thinking about what could happen if we lose it. Köln have stabilised very well – a loss against Union and then four wins. They are very solid and play with young players, the mix works well.”

Markus Gisdol: “Dortmund have plenty of excellent players. Sancho, Hazard, Reus - whoever plays, they have quality. With Haaland, they have a player who perhaps offers them something different. But we need to focus on ourselves. It's no coincidence and it's not down to luck that we've won the last few games. The boys were completely open from the start and realised that we can develop together. We've grown as a team.”

Squad update

Borussia Dortmund: Thomas Delaney missed the game against FC Augsburg last week and won’t play any part against FC either. Dan-Axel Zagadou has also joined him on the list of absentees. Marcel Schmelzer, however, has started training again this week.

1. FC Köln: Lasse Sobiech will not feature this week due to muscle problems on his hip. That aside, Markus Gisdol only has the long-term injury concern of Christian Clemens to reckon with. Marco Höger has returned from injury after his muscle issues last week.

Opposition dangerman

While the teenage wonderkids aren’t in short supply in Dortmund, least not after a certain Norwegian’s arrival, one has been consistently putting in performance after performance over the last two years. Jadon Sancho has racked up 22 goals and 28 assists in his last 50 Bundesliga games. The 19-year-old England international continues to wow on a weekly basis with his skill, speed and eye for goal. After his quick thinking turned the game in Müngersdorf, FC will be especially on guard against Sancho on Friday night.

Refereeing team

Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover).

Linesmen: Thomas Gorniak, Robert Kempter.

Fourth official: Sven Jablonski.

Video Assistant Referee: Tobias Stieler.

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Total table
131. FSV Mainz 0537
141. FC Köln36
15FC Augsburg36