Unbeaten in five Bundesliga meetings with Borussia Dortmund, 1. FC Köln coach Peter Stöger insists BVB remain favourites when the two sides meet on Saturday.
29 April 2017
Game week 31
Kickoff: 15:30 (GMT+2)
Referee: T. Stieler
Assistants: S. Thielert, R. Kempter
Fourth officials: T. Christ
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Dortmund 84 34 22 28
Köln 84 28 22 34
Köln 1-1 Dortmund (10 December 2016) Bundesliga
Köln scorer: Artjoms Rudnevs (28′)
Dortmund scorer: Marco Reus (90′)
Players to watch:
All eyes will likely be on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he goes head-to-head with Anthony Modeste for the prize of the Bundesliga’s top scorer’s gong. Currently the Gabon international is in pole position with 27 goals, and he leads both Robert Lewandowski in second and Modeste in third.
Anthony Modeste is having the best season of his career in terms of league goals with 23 strikes so far. At the age of 29 he could still potentially win a move to an even bigger side due to his form, and another top display against Dortmund might put him in the shop window for prospective suitors.
Team form and manager quotes:
Tuchel: "Reaching the cup final certainly doesn't hurt us in run-in in the league. It gives us confidence." #bvbkoe
— Stefan Buczko (@StefanBuczko) April 28, 2017
Dortmund come into this game in third place on the standings, some six point behind second-placed RB Leipzig, and on the back of beating Bayern Munich in the BFD-Pokal after a league win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Coach Thomas Tuchel believes his side’s win over Bayern is important to the growth and confidence of his team.
He said: “We had the little bit of luck that’s necessary. You could even say a lot of luck, but you need it. This win is huge for the team’s confidence and development.”
Meanwhile, Köln’s Peter Stöger is confident his team can continue their good run against BVB.
His side are currently in eighth place, having not won in three, and last were held to a 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim.
He said: “We have really worked hard against them in the past. We know that another big performance is possible, because we’ve played very well in previous meetings. But we’ll need to have plenty of solutions if we want to take anything from the game.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) April 28, 2017
The bulk of the Dortmund side that beat Bayern are fit, but Matthias Ginter could come in for Sven Bender. Felix Passlack could also start.
Milos Jojic and Leonardo Bittencourt are expected to return after recovering from light knocks for the Billy Goats. Konstantin Rausch is expected to miss out with injury.