Professionals | 08/04/2019

Matchday 26

Preview ahead of the trip to Duisburg

On Wednesday evening, 1. FC Köln make the short trip north to face MSV Duisburg at the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena. While both teams are at opposite ends of the table, the stakes couldn’t be higher for both. With relegation and promotion battles starting to head into the final stretch, this is another huge fixture for FC and MSV.

Form check

MSV Duisburg: After going four games unbeaten and picking up two impressive draws away from home at Jahn Regensburg and FC St. Pauli, Thorsten Lieberknecht’s Zebras fell to a tough 2:4 defeat at home to FC Ingolstadt at the weekend. In spite of their recent improvement, the form table makes for grim reading – Duisburg have picked up just two wins in their last 14 games. While both of those were home games, they have tallied only nine points across all 13 matches at home this season.

1. FC Köln: Markus Anfang’s men come into the game against Duisburg on the back of six straight wins. Five became six at the weekend when 1. FC Heidenheim were beaten 2:0. Those three points stretched FC’s gap to Union Berlin in third to nine points, with a victory against MSV making it an even more favourable 12. The defensive side of things has also improved of late, as only three goals have been conceded in the last six games – including three clean sheets.

Managers have had their say

Torsten Lieberknecht: “The quality that FC possess lies within the depth of the squad. In the away game, we did very well tactically. Köln now play a completely different system, so it's hard to compare the two. Obviously the situation isn't new for us, and it could perhaps get harder. However, it's still doable. I'm going to keep moving forward and pushing the boys.”

Markus Anfang: “We suffered an unfortunate loss in the home game. That’s still in the boys‘ heads. We want to do things better this time. The game is one that we’ve had in the hand, that we’ve looked at. MSV will also attempt to use the game as a bonus. The boys are doing really well at the moment, but the goal that we have hasn’t yet been reached.”

Squad update

MSV Duisburg: The Zebras have no fresh injury concerns following Saturday’s defeat to Ingolstadt, but they will be without Dustin Bomheuer, Sebastian Neumann and Borys Tashchy due to their injuries.

1. FC Köln: After the game against Heidenheim on Sunday, Markus Anfang stated that changes would be made in order to share the load for the English week. The FC head coach confirmed that Jorge Meré would be absent due to adductor problems, with both Dominick Drexler and Jhon Cordoba tired from the weekend.


  • As previously mentioned, Duisburg have the worst home record of all 2. Bundesliga this campaign. In contrast, FC are the strongest team away from home. Even though they’ve played a game less away from the RheinEnergieSTADION this term, they’ve managed to claim an impressive 28 points.
  • When it comes to counters, no team in 2. Bundesliga have found the back of the net more than 1. FC Köln (7). Duisburg have managed to score from just one counter, a joint league low.
  • Despite averaging the sixth most shots per game (13.4) in 2. Bundesliga, MSV have a poor return from those efforts. With just 26 goals this season, no team in the league has found the back of the net on fewer occasions. On the other hand, FC average 15.7 and have still managed more goals than the rest (70) despite playing a game less.

Opposition dangerman

Cauly Oliveira Souza is the most tricky and skilful MSV player, when it comes to going forward. While he hasn’t quite hit the heights of last season, the Brazilian is still causing plenty of trouble for the opposition defences. The name may well be familiar, as he is one of three Duisburg players to have plied their trade for FC before making the move elsewhere. Pacey, tricky and a winger who is happy to have a shot at goal, his four goals and three assists don’t speak for the talent he possesses. 


  • There will be a few familiar faces in the MSV squad for Sunday’s clash. Daniel Mesenhöler, Fabian Schnellhardt and Cauly Oliveira Souza all spent an extended period of time in FC’s youth academy. Schnellhardt was part of the B-Junioren side that went on to win the German Championship in 2010-11.
  • When it comes to 2. Bundesliga meetings, it’s all square between the teams. There have been three wins for each side and also three draws. Duisburg won the last meeting, with FC winless in their last three 2. Liga games against MSV.
  • That last win in 2. Bundesliga came in 2007, when Patrick Helmes and Milivoje Novakovic scored to help FC to a 3:1 win. Thomas Kessler is the only player who was in the squad that day to still be at the club. FC did, however, claim a 1:4 penalty shoot-out win against MSV in DFB-Pokal in 2014.

TV Schedule

As always, Sunday’s game will be live in the US with Fox Soccer Match Pass. It will also be broadcast by Sky in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For fans in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the match is available on DIGI GO. As for Hungary, the fixture can be followed with Sport 2. Dutch supporters can follow the game live on Fox Sports 4.

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