Rhein Energie Stadion, K ln
Saturday, December 19th, 2015
With the Christmas break looming over German football, all the sides would like to go into the football-less winter with a good result. The same goes for Borussia Dortmund, who now have no chance of seeing themselves crowned as the winter Champions of the Bundesliga.
However, they would travel to K ln on Saturday, hoping to pick up maximum points, and keep the pressure up on table toppers Bayern Munich.
Team News & Tactical Brief
FC K ln
Peter St ger has been a great influence at FC K ln, taking the Die GeiAYb cke to promotion, and subsequently leading them to the safety of the Bundesliga mid-table last season. He seems to be well on his way to do the same this season as well, with FC K ln hovering around a respectable 10th position on the table.
Their Austrian coach however has a bit of a headache with regards to team selection ahead of him. While St ger has preferred the 4-4-2 formation with his side, it is the pairing up front that might give him some problem. Japanese forward Yuya Osako is a sure starter for FC K ln, but there is a bit of a dilemma about who would partner him.
While Anthony Modeste has been their best striker yet, he has not been in good touch of late. The Frenchman had scored six goals and assisted a couple more, in their first eight games of the season. However, his form has taken a tumble down a cliff since then, as those are the numbers he is still stuck with.
In stead of Modeste, St ger could also play Simon Zoller but the 24-year-old German has not scored in his last six appearances, and this could pose a big problem for the Billy Goats up front.
Kevin Vogt is doubtful in midfield, and could well be replaced by Yannick Grerhardt, to partner-up alongside Matthias Lehmann. There is a bit of a good news for FC K ln however, as Leonardo Bittencourt might be fit for the batch after recovering from a bout of flu. He is set to start on the left flank.
Probable Starting XI (4-4-2): Horn; Hector, Heintz, Maroh, Olkowski; Bittencouri, Vogt, Lehmann, Risse; Modeste, Osako.
After a disastrous run in the first half of last season, Borussia Dortmund has shown a remarkable turnaround, and are now challenging for the title yet again. However, being five points behind an all-conquering Bayern Munich, they need to snatch all the points they can get, in order to have a chance of winning the Bundesliga.
Thomas Tuchel has been phenomenal with his side this season, playing the brand of free-flowing football that Die Borussen have always been associated with. He has some real problem up front, with forward Marco Reus being ruled out of the game due to an adductor injury. Gonzalo Castro is expected to take up his place on the left wing for this match. Tuchel would certainly be hoping that Reus gets back to fitness over the winter break.
Another injury worry for Tuchel is in midfield, where Nuri Sahin has been ruled out with a knee injury. Julian Weigl and Ilkay GA?ndogan are expected to partner up in the middle of the park, as they have done on many occasions this season.
Tuchel has a bit of a dilemma for the right back position, but is most likely to go for Matthias Ginter instead of the more experienced Lucasz Piszczek. Greek defender Sokratis is also expected to replace Sven Bender in the heart of the defence, alongside captain MAts Hummels.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): BA?rki; Schmelzer, Hummels, Sokratis, Ginter; Weigl, GA?ndogan; Castro, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan; Aubameyang.
- FC K ln are currently on a four-match winless streak in the Bundesliga.
- Borussia Dortmund have won four of their last five matches in all competitions.
- FC K ln have scored only 16 goals in the Bundisliga this season. Darmstadt (15) and Ingolstadt (11) are the only two sides to have scored lesser goals than them in the league.
- Borussia Dortmund on the other hand, are the highest scorers in the Bundesliga this season, with 46 goals — one higher than the mighty Bayern Munich.
- FC K ln have not scored in their last four home matches in the Bundesliga.
Player to watch out for
The Armenian playmaker has been one of the biggest influencers in the Dortmund side this season, and has put in those crucial performances away from home. On the road, Mkhitaryan has three goals and four assists in seven appearances, being involved in a goal every match. With the FC K ln side playing better in their away matches, the 26-year-old would be looking to add more to his tally.
FC K ln 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
Although the Billy Goats are known for overcoming steep tasks, an in-form Borussia Dortmun is set to be a bit too steem for St ger’s side. Borussia Dortmund have scoremore than 2.5 goals in their last seven matches, and another rout could be on the cards.