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Feb 20, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at RheinEnergieStadion
FC KolnFC Koln
0-1
StuttgartStuttgart

Cestic (19'), Czichos (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Kalajdzic (49')
Kempf (29')

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

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

FC Koln entertain Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the hosts able to move within two points of their forthcoming opponents in the table with a victory.

After a brilliant start to life back in Germany's top flight, Stuttgart have stuttered a little of late, winning only one of their last six league games.


Match preview

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

Koln, meanwhile, have moved three points clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks, with momentum moving in a positive direction after the additions of Emmanuel Bonaventure and Max Meyer in the January transfer window.

However, as relegation rivals Arminia Bielefeld's surprise draw with Bayern Munich on Monday night showed, there is a long way to go before Markus Gisdol and his group of players can breathe easily regarding survival.

Koln were fairly wretched, too, during last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. On another day the scoreline could have been far more uneven, with only a combination of excellent goalkeeping from Timo Horn and uncharacteristically poor finishing by Andre Silva keeping Koln in the game.

However, Gisdol's side are likely to be able to play the game far more on their own terms against a Stuttgart side struggling for confidence a little at present, with Bonaventure hoping for more service as he searches for his first league goal for the club.

Stuttgart's Sasa Kalajdzic celebrates scoring their first goal on February 13, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, Pellegrino Matarazzo would have targeted a home game against struggling Hertha Berlin as a golden opportunity to all but end any lingering fears of relegation, but was denied by a late equaliser from the visitors in a 1-1 draw.

Sasa Kalajdzic had headed the hosts ahead with his fourth goal in three matches on the stroke of half time, after the forward was narrowly adjudged to have been onside from Borna Sosa's free kick.

However, Matarazzo's side failed to press home on their advantage, with Matheus Cunha desperately unlucky not to equalise after seeing his chipped effort miraculously cleared off the line by Waldemar Anton.

Ultimately it was 17-year-old Luca Netz who salvaged a crucial point for the visitors, with substitute Sami Khedira's excellent pass against his former club finding the youngster, who calmly fired home to become Hertha's youngest ever goalscorer.

Stuttgart still have a very healthy eight-point cushion above their recent opponents and the relegation zone, but need to find a win from somewhere fairly quickly to avoid morale worsening.

FC Koln Bundesliga form: DWLWWL
FC Koln form (all competitions): WLWLWL

Stuttgart Bundesliga form: DLLWLD
Stuttgart form (all competitions): LLWLLD


Team News

Stuttgart's Gonzalo Castro celebrates with teammates after scoring against Eintracht Frankfurt on November 7, 2020© Reuters

Koln are likely to remain without Ismail Jakobs, Jonas Hector, Sebastian Bornauw, Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz due to injury.

Marius Wolf was forced to leave the action prematurely in the defeat to Frankfurt, with a suspected ankle injury likely to keep the Borussia Dortmund loanee out for around a month.

Stuttgart, meanwhile, will travel to Cologne without Daniel Didavi, Darko Churlinov, Nicolas Gonzalez, Gonzalo Castro, Clinton Mola, Lilian Egloff and Hamadi Al Ghaddioui due to injury, which makes their recent form - or lack thereof - all the more understandable.

Kalajdzic will keep his place in attack, with his side's hopes of gaining a positive result largely resting on his and top goalscorer Silas Wamangituka's shoulders.

FC Koln possible starting lineup:
T. Horn; Cestic, Mere, Czichos; Rexhbecaj, J. Horn, Skhiri, Ozcan, Katterbach; Duda, Bonaventure

Stuttgart possible starting lineup:
Kobel; Mavropanos, Karazor, Anton; Wamangituka, Mangala, Endo, Sosa; Coulibaly, Kalajdzic, Klimowicz


SM words green background

We say: FC Koln 1-1 Stuttgart

We can envisage both sides being fairly content with a point from this game, especially as this would guarantee that Koln spend another weekend outside of the bottom three.

Kalajdzic will need to be marked closely by the hosts' back three, though, if they are to gain a positive result.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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Hertha Berlin players celebrate scoring against RB Leipzig on May 27, 2020
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