1. FC Köln: FC have lost their last five matches in all competitions. Markus Gisdol was installed as the new head coach, taking over from Achim Beierlorzer, ahead of the Leipzig game. His debut at the helm didn’t get off to the ideal start, with a 4:1 defeat in Leipzig. However, now with a full week of training behind the team, a home game against another side in the bottom half could be just what is needed to kick-start his time in charge.
FC Augsburg: After winning just one of their first 10 Bundesliga games this season, Augsburg were in a tough place under Martin Schmidt. However, fast forward two weeks thanks to wins-to-nil over SC Paderborn and Hertha BSC, things are looking up. FCA have moved into 12th, six points clear of FC. Even before the recent wins, a narrow defeat against Schalke and draws with both Bayern and Wolfsburg showed that they were moving in the right direction.
Markus Gisdol: "I'm really looking forward to my first home game. I've took it on myself, to enjoy it. Of course, there is still pressure and focus there. FC Augsburg are an uncomfortable opponent, every manager who plays against them will say that. They won 4:0 last time out. We know what's waiting on us. They've got a clear shape and are often underestimated."
Martin Schmidt: "Markus Gisdol's work over the last couple of years in the Bundesliga is well-known, so we are very well prepared. But it's always a special occasion when you face a side with a new coach. It will be a challenge against Köln, as they have a whole stadium behind them. We have to find a way to turn the odds in our favour."
1. FC Köln: Jorge Meré was back training with the ball alongside Dennis Morschel on Wednesday as the defender continues his comeback from injury. He is sidelined with Vincent Koziello and Christian Clemens. Aside from those three, there are no new injury concerns from the previous game. Sebastian Müller and Robert Voloder spent the week training with the first-team but it remains to be seen as to whether or not they are included.
FC Augsburg: Alfred Finnbogason has been ruled out for the rest of the year due to his shoulder issue. While Marek Suchy is making good progress on his recovery from a hip problem, but is still in rehab. Carlos Gruezo is also working on his comeback from an ankle ligament injury, with Felix Götze in a similar situation to Finnbogason due to a hip issue. Marco Richter could feature after his knock.
Florian Niederlechner has contributed to 41% of Augsburg’s goals this season. The forward made the move from Freiburg to the Fuggerstädter in the summer, and has already bettered his goals tally from the previous campaign. The 29-year-old’s ability to hold the ball up and play in his team-mates has been something that Schmidt has been able to count on going forward, and will be similarly important against FC at the weekend.
Referee: Tobias Stieler (Hamburg).
Linesmen: Dr. Matthias Jöllenbeck, Christian Gittelmann.
Fourth official: Markus Häcker.
Video Assistant Referee: Tobias Welz.