Professionals | 07/05/2021

Matchday 32

The Number Crunch: At home against Freiburg

1. FC Köln welcome SC Freiburg to the RheinEnergieSTADION for the first of three Sunday games in the Bundesliga. FC are keen to keep up their good form in the battle to beat the drop.

Ondrej Duda grabbed his first Bundesliga brace since the 2018-19 season last time out against Augsburg. The Slovakian’s last two-goal haul in the league came against 1. FC Nürnberg on 20th January 2019.

Kainz back on the scoresheet

Florian Kainz also scored in the win over Augsburg. The 28-year-old returned from injury at the beginning of April and his strike against Augsburg was his first goal for 308 days. The last time he found the back of the net for FC was in the 1:1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt last season.

FC ended a busy week before the Pokal-enforced break with victories against Leipzig and Augsburg. Only Borussia Dortmund and 1. FSV Mainz 05 managed to pick up more points during the past three matches since Friedhelm Funkel has been in charge.

Kingsley Ehizibue and Ellyes Skhiri both have fond memories of Freiburg, with the pair netting their first Bundesliga goals for FC against Sunday’s opponents. Ismail Jakobs also grabbed his first home Bundesliga goal against Freiburg.

Sebastiaan Bornauw and Jorge Meré are both in line to make their 50th Bundesliga appearances for FC, should they feature against Freiburg at the weekend. Vincenzo Grifo (99) and Manuel Gulde (98) are also on the verge of personal milestones.

In the last seven games between the teams, there have been at least three goals in each of the meetings. The last time that didn’t occur was six years ago, as Freiburg secured a 1:0 home win back in April 2015.

While there are no former Freiburg players at FC, there are two familiar faces amongst the visiting ranks this weekend. Dominique Heintz made 108 appearances for FC, while Kübler featured just once for the first-team. He did, however, play 54 games for the under-21s while in Köln.

Grifo on form

Nils Petersen became part of an exclusive club before the Bundesliga break. The Freiburg forward was brought off the bench for the 100th time against Hoffenheim. He came on against Hertha to take him to 101 and will go level with Alexander Zickler on 102.

Freiburg have three players who have tallied 14 goal contributions this season. Vincenzo Grifo, Ermedin Demirovic and Roland Sallai are enjoying excellent campaigns and the variability going forward has made Freiburg even more difficult to deal with.

Vincenzo Grifo is currently enjoying his best goalscoring campaign in the Bundesliga. Grifo has eight goals to his name, as well as six assists, topping his 2016-17 tally of six. He still has a bit of work to do if he wants to better his goal contribution record of 17 from that same season.

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Total table
15DSC Arminia Bielefeld35
161. FC Köln33
17SV Werder Bremen31