Preview: RB Leipzig vs. Cologne

RB Leipzig return to the Red Bull Arena this Saturday in a clash with relegation struggling Cologne, aiming to get payback for the defeat suffered the last time these teams met. Leipzig will be looking to build on their last two impressive victories in the Bundesliga, as they aim to close the gap on league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The two sides have not clashed since February 2018 in which 2 second half goals from Cologne secured all 3 points in a 2-1 win at the Red Bull Arena. Leipzig do not have an ideal record against Cologne winning just 2 of their last 4 meetings and scoring 7 goals. However, this will likely change at the weekend given the stark contrast between the two teams on and off the field coming into this tie.

The visitors have undergone some major backroom changes in the last week, appointing Markus Gisdol as the new head coach, who replaced ex-Die Roten Bullen Achim Beierlorzer after he was dismissed earlier this month. In addition to this, they have also introduced Horst Heldt as their new sporting director, aiming to shake things up and avoid a second successive relegation from the Bundesliga.

Cologne come into this game in poor form after losing all of their last four matches against Hoffenheim, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Saarbrücken and Mainz 05. As they sit bottom of the league on just 7 points, unless Gisdol can turn around their fortunes, they look set for another season languishing in the relegation zone.

Currently sitting in second on 21 points, Leipzig come into this game on a very hot streak as they have scored an impressive 20 goals in their last 4 games. Leipzig’s high scoring victories over Wolfsburg, Mainz 05 and Hertha Berlin could spell real trouble for Cologne in this weekend’s fixture.

Match Information

Date: Saturday, November 23, 2019

Kick-off: 18:30 (CET)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Referee: Robert Schröder

Broadcasting: Sky Sports Bundesliga 1 (Germany), BT Sport ESPN (United Kingdom)

Head-to-Head

25.09.16: Cologne 1-1 RB Leipzig

25.02.17: RB Leipzig 3-1 Cologne

01.10.17: Cologne 1–2 RB Leipzig

25.02.18: RB Leipzig 1-2 Cologne

Current Form

RB Leipzig

Freiburg 2-1 (A) | Wolfsburg 1-6 (A) | Mainz 05 8-0 (H) | Zenit St. Petersburg 0-2 (A) | Hertha Berlin 2-4 (A)

Cologne

Mainz 05 3-1 (A) | Saarbrücken 3-2 (A) | Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-0 (A) | Hoffenheim 1-2 (H) | PEC Zwolle 0-0 (H)

Team News

RB Leipzig

Injured: Willi Orban (knee), Hannes Wolf (fractured leg), Tyler Adams (adductor)

Absent: Nordi Mukiele (individual training), Ibrahima Konaté (individual training)

Available: Yussuf Poulsen, Patrik Schick, Marcel Halstenberg

Cologne

Injured: Lasse Sobiech (muscle), Florian Kainz (heel), Vincent Koziello (ankle)

Predicted Line-ups

RB Leipzig

Gulácsi – Klostermann, Ampadu, Upamecano, Saracchi – Demme, Laimer – Sabitzer, Nkunku – Poulsen, Cunha. (4-2-2-2)

Cologne

Horn – Bornauw, Meré, Czichos – Enzibue, Skhiri, Hector, Jakobs – Schaub – Terodde, Córdoba. (3-4-1-2)

Press Conference

Julian Nagelsmann: “Cologne’s new head coach Markus Gisdol has a clear Philosophy. Like us, they press their opposition hard and try to get in behind the defence with pace.

We need to react quickly to the second ball and control the space between the back line and the goalkeeper. We have worked hard to make sure we win the game and take all three points. I’ll be happy if we play better than cologne on Saturday.

Markus Gisdol: “We face an opponent who was in superb form up until the international break. But every team has their strengths and their weaknesses. We can make chances for ourselves in Leipzig when we play as we want to.”

Score Prediction

RB Leipzig 4-0 Cologne

By Anthony Saunders

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