MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 00:33:58| >> :600:5298566:5298566:
Jan 2, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at RheinEnergieStadion
FC KolnFC Koln
0-1
AugsburgAugsburg

Modeste (64'), Bornauw (74')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Iago (77')
Uduokhai (12'), Gouweleeuw (64'), Richter (85')

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

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

FC Koln and Augsburg will both be aiming to kick off 2021 with a win when the two Bundesliga sides lock horns at the RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts managed to advance in the DFB-Pokal before Christmas with a 1-0 win over VfL Osnabruck, whereas Augsburg were knocked out of the competition at the hands of RB Leipzig.


Match preview

Koln coach Markus Gisdol pictured on November 22, 2020© Reuters

Despite Koln's precarious position near the foot of the Bundesliga table, they managed to improve their results in the back end of 2020 and can look ahead to the New Year with a slight sense of optimism.

Markus Gisdol's side have only suffered defeat in one of their last six matches in all competitions after a woeful start to the campaign, and this weekend's hosts managed to hold RB Leipzig to a goalless stalemate in their final league outing of 2020.

However, the Billy Goats' struggles on their own patch are well-documented and Gisdol has witnessed both of his team's triumphs this season come on the road - with Borussia Dortmund and Mainz falling to Koln in recent weeks.

Since the start of the campaign, Koln have lost five of their seven Bundesliga encounters at the RheinEnergieStadion, although a 1-0 DFB-Pokal victory over second-tier side VfL Osnabruck just before Christmas ended their home hoodoo, with Anthony Modeste netting the only goal in that game.

It is not possible for the hosts to drop into the bottom two just yet, but defeat to Augsburg opens the door for Arminia Bielefeld to climb out of the relegation playoff spot in the first weekend of the New Year.

Augsburg head coach Heiko Herrlich pictured on May 27, 2020© Reuters

While Koln were able to prevent Leipzig's rampant attack from finding the back of the net in December, Augsburg could not replicate such a feat as their DFB-Pokal journey ended in the second round.

Willi Orban, Yussuf Poulsen and Angelino all notched up goals as Leipzig cruised to a 3-0 win over Augsburg, who are also edging closer to danger after a spate of poor results in the German top flight.

Heiko Herrlich's men were put to the sword by Eintracht Frankfurt on their own turf just before Christmas and have only managed to triumph over newly-promoted Arminia since Halloween - a run which also includes defeats to Hertha Berlin and Hoffenheim as well as a draw with basement side Schalke.

Despite their underwhelming spell of form, Augsburg are still closer to the top six than the relegation zone and could potentially find themselves back in the top half with a win if other results go their way this weekend.

The last three meetings between Koln and Augsburg have ended with both sides chalking up one goal apiece, but the Billy Goats are winless against their opponents since the 2011-12 campaign.

FC Koln Bundesliga form: LWDWLD
FC Koln form (all competitions): WDWLDW

Augsburg Bundesliga form: DDLDWL
Augsburg form (all competitions): DLDWLL


Team News

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

Koln winger Ismail Jakobs started in the cup victory over Osnabruck on December 22, but he has since come down with illness and is not expected to feature this weekend.

Jan Thielmann could be welcomed back to the starting lineup with open arms in Jakobs's absence, but Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz are still in the treatment room.

Rafael Czichos has returned to training and is an option for change in Koln's defence, but it is difficult to see any member of the back four who kept Leipzig at bay dropping out of the team.

As for Augsburg, right-back Raphael Framberger is definitely out with a muscular problem, so Robert Gumny will make just his fifth start of the Bundesliga campaign.

Striker Alfred Finnbogason missed out the DFB-Pokal defeat to Leipzig but has not been ruled out of this clash, so Herrlich could partner him with Florian Niederlechner if he recovers in time.

Andre Hahn is not thought to be too far away from a return after recovering from coronavirus, but Fredrik Jensen, Jan Moravek and Noah-Joel Sarenren-Bazee all remain sidelined.

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Horn; Wolf, Mere, Bornauw, Katterbach; Skhiri, Rexhbecaj, Ozcan; Drexler, Modeste, Thielmann

Augsburg possible starting lineup:
Gikiewicz; Gumny, Uduokhai, Gouweleeuw; Iago; Caligiuri, Khedira, Gruezo, Vargas; Niederlechner, Gregoritsch


SM words green background

We say: FC Koln 1-1 Augsburg

Both of these teams will be hoping for a fresh start in 2021 after struggling for results in the early stages of the campaign. Koln will view this game as a perfect opportunity to finally claim a league win on home soil, but Augsburg know that the Billy Goats are vulnerable on their own turf. These two sides have played out three 1-1 draws in succession, and we expect that to become four at the RheinEnergieStadion this weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick pictured in October 2020
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Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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