MX23RW : Wednesday, January 20 14:26:46| >> :120:64558:64558:
Dec 5, 2020 at 2.30pm UK at RheinEnergieStadion
FC KolnFC Koln
2-2
WolfsburgWolfsburg
Thielmann (18'), Duda (43')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Arnold (29'), Weghorst (47')
Otavio (90+1')

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

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

FC Koln entertain Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with the in-form visitors looking to move into the top four of the table with a win.

Koln, meanwhile, moved out of the bottom three with a superb 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund last weekend.


Match preview

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

Indeed, it is hard to imagine even the most optimistic of Koln fans having been confident of attaining anything ahead of their side's trip to Dortmund on the last matchday.

After failing to win any of their opening eight games, Koln were stranded at the bottom of the table along with Schalke 04 heading into the fixture. However, they have been competitive in every match this season, and Markus Gisdol will likely feel his side were due a tight game swinging in his favour.

It was a case of deja vu in Dortmund, with two back post Ellyes Skhiri tap-ins from corners either side of half time enough to earn Koln the three points. The plan was clear: hit Marius Wolf, on loan from Dortmund, at the near post, with his flick-ons falling to Skhiri for simple finishes on both occasions.

Lucien Favre's side rallied as you would expect, with Thorgan Hazard's bending finish giving the hosts hope, before Erling Braut Haaland somehow missed from three yards after Marco Reus's accurate cut-back. As alluded to, though, Koln were arguably due a bit of luck and now have a platform from which to build on for the rest of the campaign.

Wolfsburg manager Oliver Glasner pictured in October 2020© Reuters

After drawing their opening four matches, Wolfsburg have retained their unbeaten record - the only side along with Bayer Leverkusen to do so in the Bundesliga - but have crucially turned draws into wins with 13 points from their last five matches.

Oliver Glasner will be delighted with the style of football his side are currently playing, with the likes of Renato Steffen and Xaver Schlager in superb form at present. Central defender Maxence Lacroix is impressing, too, with his passing range instrumental in turning the match around in the entertaining 5-3 win over Werder Bremen in last weekend's Friday night match.

Lacroix had been outmuscled a little too easily in the build-up to Leonardo Bittencourt's simple finish, but redeemed himself by excellently finding Ridle Baku between the lines, with the attacking full-back turning on a sixpence and firing into the bottom corner. John Brooks and substitute Kevin Mohwald scored headers apiece before Lacroix's superb long pass found Josip Brekalo, who squared for Wout Weghorst to restore Wolfsburg's lead heading into the break.

Brooks turned from hero to zero early in the second half when he turned Milot Rashica's cross into his own net, before Weghorst bagged a brace and Bartosz Bialek scored his first ever Bundesliga goal to seal the three points for the hosts. A fourth successive victory at Koln could see Wolfsburg move into the top four depending on results elsewhere.

FC Koln Bundesliga form: DDLDLW

Wolfsburg Bundesliga form: DWDWWW


Team News

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

Gisdol is without Sebastian Andersson and Florian Kainz due to knee injuries, with Jorge Mere and captain Jonas Hector unavailable with thigh and neck issues respectively.

The 51-year-old utilised a back five with great success at Dortmund last weekend, with Ismail Jakobs and Wolf providing excellent width in their wing-back roles, so he is unlikely to change anything against a Wolfsburg side possessing plenty of attacking potency.

Glasner, meanwhile, is without Joshua Guilavogui (torn muscle) and Daniel Ginczek (back), but otherwise has a clean bill of health to choose from.

The 46-year-old will be delighted with Bialek's impact from the substitutes' bench in last weekend's victory over Bremen, with the 19-year-old and Maximilian Philipp giving him great attacking options in an attempt to turn games in his side's favour should he require them.

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

Wolfsburg possible starting lineup:
Casteels; Baku, Lacroix, Brooks, Roussillon; Schlager, Arnold; Brekalo, Mehmedi, Steffen; Weghorst


SM words green background

We say: FC Koln 1-2 Wolfsburg

Koln's goal difference of negative five is not befitting of a side who had been languishing in the bottom three without a win until last weekend, so it will certainly not be an easy match for Wolfsburg.

However, the visitors are playing free-flowing football at the moment, with Weghorst potentially giving them the edge in decisive moments in what should be a close encounter.


Top betting 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


ID:424872:cQx

How you voted: FC Koln vs Wolfsburg

FC Koln
14.9%
Draw
24.1%
Wolfsburg
61.0%
141
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Bayern MunichBayern16113248252336
2Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen1795332171532
3RB Leipzig1695228141432
4Borussia DortmundDortmund1792633221129
5Wolfsburg177822619729
6Union BerlinUnion Berlin1677232201228
7Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach177733126528
8Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt166822824426
9Freiburg166552926323
10Stuttgart165743224822
11Hoffenheim175482530-519
12Augsburg165471725-819
13Werder Bremen174671925-618
14Hertha Berlin174582328-517
15Arminia Bielefeld1642101024-1414
16FC Koln162681327-1412
17Mainz 051714121536-217
18Schalke 04Schalke1614111342-297

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