MX23RW : Friday, January 15 21:48:09| >> :60:1417:1417:
Jan 16, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at RheinEnergieStadion
FC KolnFC Koln
Hertha BerlinHertha Berlin

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

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

FC Koln and Hertha Berlin will both be aiming to bounce back from respective defeats in the Bundesliga when they lock horns at the RheinEnergieStadion on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts were humiliated by Freiburg in a 5-0 drubbing last time out, whereas Hertha suffered a dismal defeat of their own to newly-promoted Arminia Bielefeld.

Match preview

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

Koln ended 2020 in rather solid fashion with just one defeat from their final five, but their start to 2021 will certainly have fans fearing for the remainder of the campaign.

A 1-0 home loss to Augsburg was followed up with a humbling 5-0 defeat at the hands of an in-form Freiburg side, with Ermedin Demirovic, Nicolas Hofler, Roland Sallai, Philipp Lienhart and Lucas Holer all helping themselves to goals.

Still winless and goalless in 2021, Koln have now slipped into the bottom three after Arminia came up trumps in their clash with weekend opponents Hertha, and only four points separate the Billy Goats from the automatic relegation places following Schalke's first win of the campaign over Hoffenheim.

In fact, Markus Gisdol's side failed to score for the fourth league game in a row during their thrashing at Freiburg, and the return of Sebastian Andersson cannot come soon enough as Anthony Modeste flatters to deceive up top.

Furthermore, Koln's only victory of the season on home soil came against VfL Osnabruck in the DFB-Pokal, and the Billy Goats are one of only three teams in the Bundesliga yet to register a league win on familiar territory - the other two being Stuttgart and Mainz 05.

Hertha Berlin coach Bruno Labbadia celebrates at the end of the match on January 2, 2021© Reuters

The hosts will welcome a familiar face back to the RheinEnergieStadion in the form of Hertha striker Jhon Cordoba, who returns to the side for whom he struck 37 goals during his three-year stay in North Rhine-Westphalia.

There will be no room for sentiment on Saturday, though, as Hertha will be equally determined to rectify last weekend's mistakes against Arminia, who scraped a 1-0 win courtesy of Reinhold Yabo's goal just after the hour mark at the SchucoArena.

Saturday's visitors can now only boast one win from their last five attempts in the German top flight, and any slim chances of a European berth are slowly dissipating as they lie nine points adrift of the top six after 15 matches.

While Koln's home form leaves a lot to be desired, Hertha will be aiming to put an end to their four-game winless run on the road, but they are now travelling to a ground where they have enjoyed an unparalleled spate of success in recent years.

Bruno Labbadia's men trounced the Billy Goats 4-0 in this fixture last season, and only Bayern Munich (10) can boast more victories than Hertha (8) on Koln's turf since 2004.

FC Koln Bundesliga form: DWLDLL
FC Koln form (all competitions): WLDWLL

Hertha Berlin Bundesliga form: WDDLWL

Team News

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

Gisdol opted for a 4-2-3-1 against Freiburg but should revert to his more familiar three-man defence here after last weekend's humiliation.

Rafael Czichos should therefore return to the rearguard, but the hosts will still be without Andersson as he struggles to battle his way back from a knee problem.

Florian Kainz also remains out with an injury in the same area, but changes in the attack could still be afoot with Jan Thielmann pushing for inclusion over the goalless Modeste.

With regards to Hertha, top scorer Matheus Cunha has returned to individual training following a groin problem, but he remains a major doubt for this one alongside Jessic Ngankam.

Dedryck Boyata and Marvin Plattenhardt are highly unlikely to be fit in time for the trip to Koln either, while Javairo Dilrosun is definitely out with a knee injury.

Cordoba could find his spot up top under threat from Krzysztof Piatek, but the Colombian will be desperate to get one over his former club and should spearhead the Hertha attack once more.

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
Horn; Bornauw, Czichos, Mere; Wolf, Hector, Skhiri, Jakobs; Rexhbecaj; Thielmann, Duda

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup:
Schwolow; Pekarik, Stark, Alderete, Mittelstadt; Tousart, Darida, Guendouzi; Lukebakio, Cordoba, Ngankam

SM words green background

We say: FC Koln 1-1 Hertha Berlin

Neither of these two sides inspire much confidence given their respective home and away forms, which should act as an added incentive for both Koln and Hertha to get the job done on Saturday. The visitors could struggle on the attacking front if Cunha and Ngankam are both ruled out, but Koln have significant problems of their own to overcome in the final third, and we expect the two teams to cancel each other out at the RheinEnergieStadion.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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


Who will win Saturday's Bundesliga clash between FC Koln and Hertha Berlin?

FC Koln
Hertha Berlin
FC Koln
Hertha Berlin
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Matteo Guendouzi in action for Hertha Berlin on December 12, 2020
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5Borussia DortmundDortmund1591531191228
7Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach156632824424
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15Arminia Bielefeld1541101024-1413
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17Schalke 04Schalke1514101239-277
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