MX23RW : Sunday, October 17 15:55:33| >> :600:244591:244591:
Oct 15, 2021 at 7.30pm UK at Rhein-Neckar-Arena
FC KolnFC Koln
Bebou (31', 49'), Baumgartner (51'), Geiger (74'), Posch (87')
Kaderabek (33')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Czichos (81')

Preview: Hoffenheim vs. FC Koln - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and FC Koln, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Hoffenheim shall be attempting to bounce back from being defeated by Stuttgart at the weekend when they host FC Koln on Friday at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

The visitors have had a much stronger start to the campaign and head into this game with a five-game undefeated streak, which sees them just four points behind Bayern Munich, who are currently top of the Bundesliga.

Match preview

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness pictured on February 18, 2021© Reuters

After a mid-table finish last season, Hoffenheim are looking to make significant improvements throughout 2021-22 but so far it has been a difficult campaign that has seen a lot of mixed results.

Sebastian Hoeness has only seen his team pick up two victories in the first seven fixtures, one of which took place on the opening day as they beat Augsburg to start things off well.

Their second win came much more recently, though, as they defeated Wolfsburg 3-1, with goals from Andrej Kramaric, Christoph Baumgartner and Pavel Kaderabek helping them battle from behind to secure the three points.

However, they failed to make it consecutive results on Friday when they faced Stuttgart and were on the losing end of a 3-1 result, as Jacob Larsen's 84th-minute goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation.

Hoffenheim defeated Koln twice last season, and that is something they will be wishing to repeat once again, especially since they only sit four points above the relegation zone at the moment, being keen to not get dragged down into that situation at this point.

FC Koln players celebrate scoring against Union Berlin on November 22, 2020© Reuters

The visitors are currently thriving this season, sitting in seventh place, having only lost once so far in the Bundesliga, which is why a victory could see them climb as high as third this weekend.

The only time they have been beaten was away from home at Bayern Munich, and even that game was a thrilling 3-2, which saw Koln fight as much as possible to try and gain something from the fixture.

However, they head into Friday's match with plenty of confidence after five games without a loss, but during that period they have been unable to keep a clean sheet, which could be a concern.

After three draws in a row, Steffen Baumgart finally saw his team get back to winning ways last weekend when they defeated Greuther Furth 3-1, with a brilliant performance going along with it.

Koln dominated with 68% of the possession as Sebastian Andersson found the back of the net while Ellyes Skhiri scored a brace, and the team will now be keen to follow that up with another victory.

Hoffenheim Bundesliga form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Hoffenheim form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

FC Koln Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

FC Koln form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness pictured on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Sebastian Rudy was able to return from injury for Hoffenheim last Friday, but he only featured from the bench as he continues to push towards gaining full-match fitness.

Larsen might have also played his way into the starting lineup after scoring during his substitute appearance, which could provide Hoeness with a decision to make.

However, the club will still be without Havard Nordtveit, Ermin Bicakcic and Benjamin Hubner, who are all dealing with injury problems at the moment.

Florian Kainz was able to retain his place in the Koln team on Friday, marking consecutive appearances in the midfield after his absence due to suspension.

Both Jannes Horn (hip) and Tim Lemperle (ankle) are unavailable at the moment with injury issues, but they have had strong performances of late, which could lead to no changes taking place.

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Baumann; Raum, Vogt, Richards, Kaderabek; Geiger, Samassekou, Grillitsch; Adamyan, Kramaric, Bebou

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Horn; Schmitz, Mere, Czichos, Hector; Skhiri, Kainz, Duda, Uth; Andersson, Modeste

SM words green background

We say: Hoffenheim 1-2 FC Koln

FC Koln have failed to keep a clean sheet recently, which will likely provide opportunities for Hoffenheim to find opportunities to score goals.

However, the visitors are in fantastic form at the moment and the confidence that is within the team right now will likely see them through at the weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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